This is my 2011 project – Charcutepalooza: The Year of Meat. A revolution led by fellow bloggers Mrs. Wheelbarrow and the Yummy Mummy, Charcutepalooza is a project for home cooks to make their own charcuterie, or cured meat products. I found out about this from Nicki of the Nashville Scene Blog, Bites and knew that I had to enter. I mean, this is my kind of project – it’s homemade, artisanal, and delicious. In addition, it’s a completely new experience. I mean, I’ve eaten bacon…tons of times. But I’ve never made my own! This is what epicurean adventures is all about – how can we take that which we are accustomed to and put a spin on it that makes it better and more gourmet. What could be more gourmet than throwing away the cold cut platter from Kroger and making your own!
I’m really excited for this and think it’ll be a lot of fun. The way the project works is that on the 15th of each month, we will be given a challenge. The first challenge is to make duck proscuitto. The second challenge is to make either bacon or pancetta. No other challenges have been revealed. At home, we agree to use local, sustainably raised meats, and give recipes for how we will use our cured meat products. We’ll do one project each month for the rest of the year and hopefully by the end of 2011, we’ll be charcuterie experts!
All the recipes come from Michael Ruhlman’s Book, Charcuterie: The Art of Salting, Smoking, and Curing. Ruhlman has even said he’ll be active in the charcutepalooza project throughout the year! I get the book in tomorrow, so as soon as I do, I’m gonna start on the duck proscuitto.
If you all are interested, then there are many ways to stay abreast of things. For one, you can follow the hashtag #charcutepalooza on Twitter. You can also see all the bloggers participating, which I believe is now a little over 160, here. Lastly, you can follow along with me. I’ll make a post every month, on the 15th, with the meaty creation we have produced.
Hopefully along the way, I’ll get to meet some new and interesting people, learn about local, humanely raised meats, and cultivate relationships that educate me on our food system and our personal relationship with the food we produce and eat. Should be a fun ride, folks!