ast month, George reported about a cassoulet dinner we hosted and my ongoing fascination with the craft of charcuterie. For fans of charcuterie and/or salumi products, the November 2005 publication of Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn's book Charcuterie must be a revelation. Why? Because the book clearly explains how the craft of salting, smoking and curing pork products can be rather easily achieved in one's home.
Polcyn (left, signing copies of the book), the executive chef/owner of Five Lakes Grill, an award winning restaurant about 45 miles outside of Detroit, was also chronicled in Ruhlman's book The Soul of a Chef : The Journey Toward Perfection.
So, when Five Lakes Grill sent out an email for the All Pig Dinner featuring recipes from the Charcuterie book I did not hesitate to make reservations. On January 26, 2006, I grabbed my copy of the book, my husband and camera and spent a great evening enjoying the 6 course meal.
Menu and wines were as follows:
* Pork, House-Smoked Ham Pate en Croûte
Hog Shank en Gelée in Herb Crust
with Werp Farms Micro Salad and Mustard Vinaigrette
Garlic Sausage and Marjoram en Brioche with Sauce Gribiche
Hog Belly “Pot au Feu” and Shoulder Confit with Organic Baby Vegetables, Michigan White Beans in Rich Natural Broth
Warm Pear Strudel with Armagnac Sauce,
Cinnamon Gelato and Pink Marzipan Pig
All-in-all, the modestly plated food was very tasty. The intense Hog Shank en Gelée was my favorite with an extra nod to the Spatzles with Guanciale (although you could barely find the guanciale).
Since receiving this book, I've prepped a 35 pound ham to make prosciutto, dry cured 4 duck breasts for duck breast prosciutto, confited a pork belly and made bacon. I'll be following up soon with a page devoted to the prosciutto.
I hope that you have as much fun with these old world curing techniques as I do.
Now get out there are cure some pork!
Other Recent Wine Explorations
Some New World Clarets and a Single Sauvignon