Sunday, May 15, 2011

Charcutepalooza is My Life - Challenge 5... I think


This months Charcutepalooza challenge is all about the Grind. Yup. We were up for the challenge since we had some pork to deal with anyhow.


Spices were in order and we had our kitchen set up to be a virtual meat packing plant. Well not exactly but you know that I lean on the side of a bit of exaggeration. Shut up, that is why you love me.


Yes, that is liver. Notice that those are not MY hands. Once again my trusty assistant (heh, cough) did the dirty work for me. Dr. Food stepped in once again to bail me out of something I got myself into that may have been a wee bit over my head.


This Caul fat was soaking to wrap the little Crepinettes in. Crepinettes are little sausage patties that are way prettier than average sausage patties. They are also way fancier too. I learned how to do these at the Charcuterie workshop that Kate and Dominque taught.

I do have to stop here to say something. (Stepping up on soapbox) I just want to say that I know that some of these pictures are graphic. I also noticed that a few people stopped following this blog (probably my mother) and it could be because they were bored with my antics and silliness or it could have been that I have been dealing with parts of animals that disgust some people. I never said I was Vegan or Vegetarian. I do however have a conscience. I don't take the experience of dealing with the whole pig or lamb that I have lightly. I joke. I can't help myself. You make me nervous and when I am nervous I joke.


Having said that I have to say that what this experience is giving me is learning to respect the food that I put into my mouth. Stop groaning, it is true. I have stopped mindlessly feeding myself and the people I love crap from the grocery store. I will leave it at that. (Stepping down from soapbox and tripping). (Dog may appear smaller than in real life) Ok, I didn't know what picture to use for my serious moment.


Look how pretty this caul fat is. I wish I had more of it.


Cripenettes going into a water bath.


Crepinettes out of the oven. I have to tell you that we did all of this in a weekend. I was determined not to waste a thing.


Yes, that is the heart. I asked @Podchef what to do with it and he said "I would stuff it". Perfect. I had ground pork.


I stuffed with the Merquez sausage meat.


I lightly floured it.


Browned it.


Braised it in some beer. I thought "Smutty Nose" was a good choice. Ya know, Nose..Snout...also, Matt (waving to Matt but don't have a picture of him) left it at our house.


I let it braise in the oven for about 1.5 hours.


How did it taste? Um, not my favorite (as my mother taught me to say when something was disgusting and I had to choke it down). It was really a good recipe and if someone wanted to make Pig heart I would suggest this recipe. I just t didn't like pig heart. Dr. Food loved it though.


So we had enough stuff to make more pate. We figured we could just keep begging people to come over to help us eat it all. I shipped some of it off to my brother in San Francisco.


The above is a pate recipe we made that we got from Kate at our workshop. How pretty is that? I wanted to just stare at it but it went into the refrig to stay overnight.


We started making the Marquez sausage. By this time I think we were a bit slap happy and may have been nipping at the bottle.
We used the recipe from Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn.


We had bought some Merquez at the Hay market in Boston the week before to taste it before we made our own. It was Halal and of course had no pork. It was also way milder. The one we made was way spicier than the one we bought. They tasted like two different things but I did like both of them.


The other sausage that we made was saucisse de Toulouse. This is a mild sausage that I use in lots of stuff. We use it in Cassoulet as well as weeknight meals of beans and sausage.


So when it came time to pick something to make with the Merquez sausage (other than stuffed pig heart) I decided on Moroccan Merguez Ragout with Poached Eggs. I found it on Food 52 and it was by epicureanodyssey


I picked up some GOOSE (not duck) Eggs at the farm I belong to because I thought it would be funny to see those huge eggs poaching in this dish.


How pretty is this dish?


I also made some crusty bread to go along with it. This just may be my new favorite favorite favorite (stop me or I will go on) recipe.

Whew ok.... going off to eat a salad.


  1. I am sorry that people have stopped following you and I don't understand why. Unlike us, who buy from the grocery store, you're making use of every flippin' part of the pig. The heart? There is NO way I'd have eaten it. Caul? Don't even want to touch it. I applaud you, my friend!

  2. Janis you are the ultimate Charcutepalooza-er!  I love reading about your adventures with the challenges and seeing what crazy things you come up with - heart - really?  I also love how respectful you are of the food. Boo to the naysayers and let them go follow someone else - you don't need them!

  3. You are such a badass, woman. What a feast. Your conscience is evident- if they don't like it, let them eat tofurkey.

  4. Beautiful! All I really can say is wow. You'be blown me away. The goose eggs were the perfect choice! 

  5. Holy mackerel, how wonderful.

  6. Even more adventurous than I.  I've done the liver sausage, but can't find caul fat.  Terrines - first and only one was lame.  Did you have a dedicated sausage stuffer?  Mine requires  hands so I just make "bulk" sausage (no casings).  Heart is good - you just need to cook it longer - bake in foil at 315 for 2.5 hours or simmer for 2 (not stuffed).  My next venture is a butchering class.

  7. Tony & Kay EckerMay 15, 2011 at 1:16 PM

     Incredible that you made this!  Looks great!

  8. So awesome!  I am in awe - and very jealous that you got your hands on caul fat.   And that pate - oh my...

  9. We used the Kitchen Aid to stuff.

  10.  I'm repeating the guy below, "absolutely amazing."  This is some serious cooking.  You're my Charcutapalooza Heroine.

  11. Those patties look so happy in the caul fat! I think you and Dr. Food deserve the title of King and Queen of the Grinding Ball.

  12. You are just amazing. You have taken this Charcutepalooza thing and made it... well... I think you know where I'm going here. I don't think I'll ever get up to your level, but I'm constantly impressed on what comes out of the kitchen.

  13. Holy GOODNESS! You make me WANT to play with my food! LOVE that you know where your food is coming from! I would pass on the heart but the rest looks WONDERFUL! AND who is that tiny little dog? Don't you worry about stepping on him :)

  14. you crazy person! wow and wow :) you are the charcutepalooza goddess :D