Dry-Cured Shoulder Picnic

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Dry-Cured Shoulder Picnic

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  • Medium

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Earlier this week, I’ve been torturing my unfortunate students in the Intro to Philosophy class with Kierkegaard’s “Concluding Unscientific Postscript.” To be exact, on the “ Out of love for humankind, and from despair over my embarrassing situation, having accomplished nothing, and being unable to make anything easier than it had already been made, and out of a genuine interest in those who make everything easy, I conceived it as my task everywhere to create difficulties.”
Charcuterie is simply an extension of Kierkegaard. It’s easy to make a masterpiece from some decent mangalitsa. Try to create it from the cr-p they sell in supermarkets…
Yet, nothing in this realm of meat-curing brings me more satisfaction than just that – making something decent out of nothing. Sometimes it works; sometimes – leads to a glorious and utter defeat. This time it worked, and worked great.
Last January, I bought two “shoulder picnics” from neighboring Reasor’s. 97c per lb, each less than $10. Why not?
Today first one went to the slicer. Weight on Jan. 15th – 4.5kg; weight today – 3.4 kg. On 01/15/16: 2.75% sea salt, 0.25% cure#2; same amount of dry thai chili, 0.3% Sichuan pepper, 0.5% BP, 0.18% cloves, 2 cinnamon sticks, some bourbon. Vacuum, fridge until 2/24\16. After washing and drying, cold-smoked from 2\25 to 2\29. In the “curing chamber” ever since…
Aroma is beautiful. Cold-smoke does it’s job, but provides merely a hint on smokiness on the outer layer of fat. I’ve included photos of bone and the meat around the bone for specialists. Texture is soft. Surprisingly, Thai chili is very noticeable.
I’m beyond satisfied on this one…

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