Charcuterie: The Craft Of Salting Smoking And Curing Hardcover – Nov 22 2005
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From Publishers Weekly
Starred Review. Without the faintest hint of apology, Ruhlman and Polcyn present an arsenal of recipes that take hours, and sometimes days, to prepare; are loaded with fat; and, if ill-prepared, can lead to botulism. The result is one of the most intriguing and important cookbooks published this year. Ruhlman (The Soul of a Chef) is a food poet, and the pig is his muse. On witnessing a plate of cold cuts in Italy, he is awed by "the way the sunlight hit the fat of the dried meats, the way it glistened, the beauty of the meat." He relates and refines the work of Polcyn, a chef-instructor at a college in Livonia, Mich., who butchers a whole hog "every couple weeks for his students." Together, they make holy the art of stuffing a sausage, the brining of a corned beef and the poaching of a salted meat in its own fat. An extensive chapter on pâtés and terrines is entitled "The Cinderella Meat Loaf" and runs the gamut from exotic Venison Terrine with Dried Cherries to hearty English Pork Pie with a crust made from both lard and butter. And while there's no shortage of lyricism, science plays an equally important role. Everyone knows salt is a preservative, for example, but here we learn exactly how it does its job. And a section on safety issues weighs the dangers of nitrites and explains the difference between good white mold and the dangerous, green, fuzzy stuff. Line drawings.
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About the Author
Michael Ruhlman has written and coauthored many bestsellers, among them The French Laundry Cookbook and Ratio. He lives in Cleveland Heights, Ohio.
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Top Customer Reviews
I have been barbecuing, smoking, curing meat, making sausage and brining pork and poultry for many years and yet this book offered new insights and fresh ideas I had not imagined possible.
Illustrations are used to advantage to explain techniques and easily replace the customary colour plates.
All aspects of the craft are fully detailed, recipes are well thought out and offer suggestions for variations. Ingredients, equipment and methods of work are all covered very well.
This volume will rest comfortably beside Rytek Kutas' legendary text.
I've been making sausage for years, but never cured or fermented meats. Curing whole meat slabs is actually quite simple ... apply cure to meat and refrigerate. Some cured meats benefit from air drying (that's what your cantina is for!) ... regulating temperature and humidity is important, here.
Ruhlman recommends trying a home cured bacon to begin with. For bacon, you mix a basic cure of kosher salt, pink salt, and sugar, apply to pork belly, place in a ziploc bag and refrigerate. After 1 week, you've got bacon. Smoking the meat after it cures will enhance the bacony flavor. This was the first recipe I attempted, and it came out perfectly. Next time, pancetta!
Excellent recipes, with clear, concise directions. Highly recommended.
The book is well written and well illustrated. The authors have an obvious and contagious passion for the topic at hand. Very highly recommended!
That sounds a bit off..... But in any case, "Charcuterie" is the book that got me started on an unhealthy obsession with cured meats. It's great for beginners and experts (advanced amateurs?) and has some great recipes.
Most recent customer reviews
I use this book so much, the page corners are a little ragged.Published 3 months ago by Donald Chow
The book is well written and easy to read. It is a must for someone who wants to make it themselves.Published on Nov. 6 2013 by Jason Fox
I've tried a lot of charcuterie but this book represents the first time it has ever worked for me.
Ruhlman is an awesome food writer and he doesn't miss the mark with... Read more
Just starting to get into sausage making and this book is perfect for me. It goes into enough explanation about techniques and equipment so you understand the techniques and the... Read morePublished on May 14 2013 by Beth Power