It’s been about a month and a half since I first got involved in this online cult known as Charcutepalooza. These folks are crazy. They believe in the god of cured meats. They tweet and blog excitedly about getting pork jowls (yeah, that’s the face/jaw of a pig), firm breasts (many claim it’s ducks’ breast), rubbing bellies (of a pig’s), “meating” up with each other, and they worship and adore of lard as though it’s the best invention since sliced bread. I’m proud to be one of them.
February marked the salt cure challenge. What the heck is this you may ask? Well, Cathy aka Mrs Wheelbarrow and Kim aka The Yummy Mummy are challenging us to cure bacon and/or pancetta or guanciale and blogging our results. Well, in the words of Barney Stinson, challenge accepted.
The main purpose of the challenges aren’t so much about charcuterie (that’s cooking devoted to prepared meat products) recipes as opposed to using what was made. But of course, with curing meat being such an integral part of the process, it’s hard to avoid writing about it.
What I didn’t know is that this unleashed some sort of strange passion within me.
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.
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.)