There are not many items in the realm of charcuterie that could surpass a cold-smoked, aged for at least six month speck from a mangalitsa pig. One does not come closer to perfection than this. Considering the source of meat, the product looks more like thick bacon. As for the taste…one has to try.
The credit, of course, goes to the incredible queen of the hogs and the farmer who grew it. I merely gave the meat the honor and a little adjustment it truly deserves.
The process took eight month and two weeks.
The shoulder was ‘freed” of the bone with as little “detachment’ of the meat as I could manage, covered with spices, vacuumed, and sent to fridge for three weeks.
Ingredients\curing agents: sea salt: 3%, cure#2 :0.25%, BP: 0.5%, fennel and caraway seed (just because I like them) 0.3% each, Poivre de Sichuan 0.2%. Then few bay leaves and a rosemary extract for managing the oxidation.
Then washed and dried in cold; dusted with some caraway and BP.
Then, cold-smoked for 5 days over pecan and hickory before sending the speck to the Curing Chamber.
The side-effect of the speck is regrettably sad: I’ve developed something that the ancient Greeks called pleonexia — pathological craving for more.
Yet, unlike the cravings of our politicians, this is a yearning worthy of the utter and irrevocable surrender.