Thursday, December 1, 2011

Charcutepalooza #11 - Curing or "Don't get your pantyhose in a knot"


Deep breath. I am so conflicted right now. This is challenge 11 with only one more to go. I want it to end and I don't want it to end. In real life the last challenge has taken place. I have fought with myself on these last two challenges. Self doubt has seeped in. I am not doing enough. I am not clever enough. I forgot something. People are bored with my hijinx. Then I pull up my big girl panties and think "for god sake J, it is only meat" Exhale.


Lots of meat this month. There was Jambon Noix, Breseola, Spanish Chorizo and Coppa.


Once again we turned to our trusty wine refrig. It didn't let us down.


Here is the Breseola that we cured. It had to sit around for a while before we could hang it. It also was the first piece of beef that we have cured.


We gently smoked our Jambon Noix.


Here is the Spanish Chorizo. My conversation with Dr. Food went something like this:

Janis: "Hey will you take a picture with the chorizo on my arm like a braclet?"

Dr. Food: "Why?"

Janis: "It is funny"

Dr. Food: (talking in his I am being patient but not really voice) "My hands are covered in meat"

Janis: "(whine)"

Dr. Food: "Ok ok, give me the camera"


Ok Dr. Grump. The Chorizo got finished and *I* got a Chorizo bracelet.


Last but not least came the Coppa. I call these guys the Three Tenors. I don't know why. If we could figure out why I think of 90% of what I think about we could ...we could... I am not sure what we could do.


The Coppa was rubbed down with salt and then sat around for 9 days. Resalted and 9 more days. When it came time to hang these puppies my partner in all things meat was in China. How could he do this to me? I was nervous that the three tenors wouldn't cooperate. Dr. Food assured me that he ordered the casing and all I had to do was soak and rinse the casings and shove the Coppa inside of it.


Um, as I started to soak I had that feeling in the pit of my stomach that there was no way on earth that I could shove that hunk of meat into that casing. Panic set in (I really need to get a life) and I started tweeting. Things like:

@MrsWheelbarrow @KatedeCamont @ruhlman @BobdelGrosso @anyone - I cant fit my Coppa in the casing what do I do?

I got back answers quickly. I got back suggestions from just tying it to putting it in a netting (which I didn't have). Finally, Kate said "Stuff it in a nylon"



Ok, stop checking for what size they are. Yes, I know they are shapers. I am not as young as I used to be and can use all the help that I can. I should bring up the fact that these were new pairs of nylons because I refuse to wear them. I have heard that clear nail polish will take care of a run in them though. What? I should be talking about meat and not be giving beauty advice? Ok ok.


Look how cute they are. It worked.


Here they are hanging out.

I could hear them singing in the basement kinda like this.


So, that is pretty much it. We have been munching on meat. I have to say that Jambon Noix is my favorite as is the Spanish Chorizo. Don't tell the others.


I know you have seen me do many Paella's. It was my duty to do another one. I had made my own Spanish Chorizo and I was going to use it by golly.


I just used the freshest I could find.


I usually use whatever is the freshest at the time I am shopping.


It has become a standard at our house and now that we make our own Spanish Chorizo it is a snap. Before we had to drive into Cambridge to buy the Chorizo we like. I like the stuff we made just as much so no more having to drive.


This dish is such great company food. It is fun to eat and there is something for everyone in it.


Did I tell you that I made my own Spanish Chorizo for this dish? Oh, I did?


One more dish made with our meats new and old (well that doesn't sound too good but hang with me)


We found a recipe for Caldo Gallego in a Bittman book and decided to make it our own. We adapted the recipe and used our Charcuterie.


I adore turnips and everything else in this dish.


Simple fare but so satisfying. Yes, I will give you the recipe but one more thing before I go. I want you to meet "Wooly Bully" my Bresaola.


Handsome slab of meat...


With that I will leave you with this

Caldo Gallego
Adapted from Mark Bittman

2lb Ox tails
1/4lb Jambon Noix (homemade)
1/4 lb Ventreche (homemade)
1 C. dried white beans soaked overnight and drained
1/2 lb potatoes, peeled and cut into chunks
1 onion, sliced
1/4 lb turnips, trimmed, peeled, and diced
1 Spanish Chorizo (homemade)
1 small head cabbage
2 Tbl oil
salt and pepper

1. Heat oil in heavy saucepan. Add the pork oxtails and ham and brown, then stir in the beans. Pour nough water to cover the beans by 3 inches and bring to a boil, then lower the heat, cover and simmer for 40 minutes or until the beans are nearly tender.

2. Add the potatoes, onion, and turnips and simmer until the potatoes are tender, about 20 minutes. Then add the chorizo and cabbage and cook until the chorizo is heated through and the greens are soft, 10 to 20 minutes more. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Handout from "The Spanish Table"

½ cup uncooked Valencian Rice per person or 1/3 cup if using Bomba
1 cup chicken stock per person
5 threads saffron per person dissolved in a little white wine
4 tablespoons, or more, olive oil, to cover bottom of pan
1 piece of chicken, such as a thigh, per person
½ to 1 soft chorizo, such as Bilbao or Palacios, per person
½ teaspoon Spanish sweet pimentón (paprika) per person
1 clove garlic per person, minced
¼ cup chopped onion per person
c cup grated tomato (cut in half, grate and discard the skin) per person
2 shrimp or prawns per person
2-4 small clams and/or mussels per person
red piquillo peppers cut in strips
artichoke hearts, green beans or peas
cooked white Spanish beans such as alubias de la granja or judión
lemon wedges for garnish
salt to taste

Heat stock in a separate stock pot. Crush saffron and add it to stock or a little bit of white wine. Heat paella pan over medium heat, add olive oil and fry chicken until it begins to brown. Next add garlic and onions and saute until translucent.
Add chorizo and cook until heated. Add the rice, stirring until well coated with oil. Add the paprika and grated tomato. Stir while cooking for a few minutes.

Add saffron flavored wine and hot stock. Bring to a boil while scraping the bottom of pan. Now the rice should be level and you will not need to stir from this point on. Adjust heat to maintain a nice simmer. When the rice has absorbed a good amount of liquid but still has a soupy appearance add the mussels or clams. Once the rice is cooked add the shrimp or prawns tucking them down into the rice, then the piquillo peppers, artichoke hearts, green beans, beans and peas. During this time the rice should be caramelizing on the bottom of the pan or creating what is called the socarrat. It will make a faint
crackling sound and smell toasty sweet but not burnt. Set aside to “rest” for 5-10 minutes. Sprinkle with chopped parsley, garnish with lemon wedges and serve.

You can also use an oven if you find that your pan is too large to cook on the stove top, even with occasionally moving the pan around on the burner(s). Begin your recipe on the stove top but after adding the liquid carefully move your paella pan into the oven (350/-400/). Once rice is done return it to the stove top to create the caramelized layer of rice on the bottom of the pan.


  1. You always make me laugh. I will never get tired of you and your posts, not ever.

  2. Beautiful Janis, and once again I love how your voice shines through. Funny woman! And the meat!

  3. Janis is YOU'RE not doing enough there's no hope for the rest of us! As always, great job!

  4. Mmmhm paella for breakfast sounds perfect right about now!

  5. Micaela P. Torregrosa-MahoneyDecember 1, 2011 at 9:26 AM

    zOMG!!! I really need to get in the car and head north... if you write another post like this one, it may kill me! That all looks like my wildest dreams come true!!! Is Dr Food on board with the adoption?

  6. Janis, your posts always make me laugh out loud! Gorgeous pieces of cured meat! I made Spanish chorizo and completely fell in love with it. Like you say, no more buying it!

  7. Micaela P. Torregrosa-MahoneyDecember 1, 2011 at 9:56 AM

    I was too overwhelmed by the sight of all that charcuterie & gorgeous food to tell you that my Aunt Adela, who was born & raised in Valencia, made her Caldo Gallego with ham and brisket. It was the most "luxurious" Caldo I'd ever seen, until yours.

  8. Nice one, Janis. I'm relieved that all 12 of my posts are now done.

  9. What what what can I say?!! First, I love the meat bracelets I think you can sell those on Etsy. Secondly your genius combo of large sausages and panty hose...well ...John Waters would be pleased. Wish you were my neighbor so we could hang out and shove pork products in our unused Spanx. May they invent teleporting soon

  10. Janis, this is fabulous! Best use of pantyhose, ever! You have noreason for self-doubt. You are at the head of the class!

  11. That's it... I'm gonna move in with you. I totally didn't have the patience to cure.

  12. The chorizo bracelet is the only one I'd ever wear. Gorgeous dawwwlink. All of a sudden I have a strong craving for meat. Lots of meat.

  13. Man Janis, this post is fantastic!!

  14. Hey, we were wondering, did you make your own Spanish Chorizo? lolol. Great post. Makes us want to try charcuterie!!!

  15. What did your husband think about the nylons encasing the Three Tenors once he got home? That's priceless, but great advice.

    When I come visit, please make the paella (with home made chorizo, of course).

  16. I love your little tamales. What a fantastic way to end it. 

  17. You are good at this. 

  18. Thanks Mr. DelGrosso. Coming from you it means alot to me.