I just received Fergus Henderson’s The Whole Beast: Nose to Tail Eating in the mail last night and it got me all excited. Unfortunately, not many share the same excitement as I do about consuming offal, or as some call it the Nasty Bits. Making our dulled out taste buds appreciate something as rich in flavor as offal requires a certain level of skill, or at least a good understanding of the ingredient.
I didn’t like offal (in the form of pig’s liver) when I was first introduced to it as a child. It tasted pasty and smelled nasty, like really old over-boiled eggs. My offal ‘ahuh’ moment didn’t come till a few years later. Still a kid, I had some pig’s intestine (somewhat similar to chitlins) in a bowl of very familiar Chinese pork soup otherwise known as bak kut teh. It didn’t taste the slightest bit porky. It was tender, creamy and delicious. My world was changed.
The following is an edit of an earlier post I wrote when I went vegan for a month. It kind of explains my “philosophy” and approach to meat.
The biggest problems I used to have in my pantry was that there were too darn many bags. Bags of quinoa, black beans, and lentils lay scattered and hiding half used packets of dried mushrooms and seaweed. I’m not the most organized person in the world but sometimes, trying to find the right bag would drive me crazy. Not to mention my roommates packet of instant rice would somehow mix in with it. I’m generally too cheap and lazy to count to get individual containers for all these items.
Enter the disposable food container.
Oh the beloved beer brewing weekend. The holidays have taken its toll. After more than a month of brewing inactivity, the kegs on tap are empty. Store bought beer is slowly invading the fridge. The cheerfully delightfulness of wonderful hop aroma from the beer closet is missing.
Fortunately, we are back to it again.
Over the last weekend, I decided to check out Central Market’s Citrusfest. As mentioned by David Lebovitz, Central Market has quite the spread of citruses over this period.
I knew there were a few varieties of citrus but I honestly don’t really know too much about one from the other. I mean, what’s the real difference between a Meyer and a Lisbon lemon? (Lisbon lemons are usually grown year round and are your typical grocery store lemon.)
Anyway, I’ve heard quite a bit about the Meyer lemon and they looked really great, quite unlike the regular dry hard-as-rock type lemon. Seriously, I don’t think I could ever squeeze more than a couple of drops of juice from a generic store bought lemon. But I digress.
So with tons of lemons on hand (well, in a bag really) and a charcuterie kick (thanks to Charcutepalooza), I set off to make some lemon confit.
As mentioned in a previous post, I made some chili for chili dogs for some volunteers and there were some leftovers.
So January 15th’s Charcutepalooza challenge is the salt cure. I already had 2lbs of pork belly from Olde World Farms so why not just dive right in and make some bacon. (No pancetta here since the strip of belly isn’t really suited to rolling.)
So after my last duck prosciutto adventure, I had 2 spare duck legs. (The carcass was obviously going to be used for stock.)
I initially thought about roasting or braising those legs but I figured I would make duck confit instead.