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Charcuterie Hardcover – Nov 22 2005


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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 416 pages
  • Publisher: WW Norton; 1st (first) edition (Nov. 22 2005)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0393058298
  • ISBN-13: 978-0393058291
  • Product Dimensions: 2.2 x 0.3 x 2.6 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 816 g
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (19 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #105,961 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

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.
Copyright © Reed Business Information, a division of Reed Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Michael Ruhlman is the author of six books, including The Soul of a Chef and The Making of a Chef. Brian Polcyn is chef/owner of Five Lakes Grill in Michigan, USA.

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Most helpful customer reviews

18 of 18 people found the following review helpful By Peter Follett on April 27 2007
Format: Hardcover
The benefits of having a skilled writer and a passionate chef collaborate is evident in this text. It is detailed, easy to read, clear for even a novice cook and is full of excitement and reverence for the craft.

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.

Well done!
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By spike and wave on June 16 2010
Format: Hardcover
To get started, you may have to hunt down some specialized supplies/ingredients (pink salt is a must, nitrate for the extended cures, a grinder for sausage). The salt cures can be a little tricky to secure in Canada, but definitely worth pursuing. Canadians can order cures from the States (suppliers listed) - just know that the s/h charges will probably exceed the product prices. Best to buy in quantity.

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.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Great help to a beginner sausage maker, fantastic place to start making yummy meats. Once you try a couple recipes you'll figure out how to tweak them to your own tastes. Just watch the salt ... there's a lot of them in these recipes for me.
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By ATC123 TOP 1000 REVIEWER on May 29 2014
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
I bought this book for a friend as a gift and then read it myself and I am glad that I did. It provided a good insight into what is involved with "prepared" goods and recipes it provides are worth the price of the book alone. If you like to make your own sausages, etc. and enjoy experimenting this is a great book. It is not for a novice or someone who is not prepared to pay attention to details but captures a wealth of information that unless you were a professional butcher, you would never know. This book is easy to read and is well worth the price.
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Format: Hardcover
This is a fantastic guide to the craft of sausage making, enthusiastically covering topics such as salting, curing and smoking. The authors go beyond typical sausage recipe books and include information on making cured meats such as bacon and pastrami and even venture into the realm of dry-cured meat.

The book is well written and well illustrated. The authors have an obvious and contagious passion for the topic at hand. Very highly recommended!
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By Dominic on Dec 8 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Then you'll definitely love Michael Ruhlman: Sausage king!
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.
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By Jason Fox on Nov. 6 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
The book is well written and easy to read. It is a must for someone who wants to make it themselves.
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By Ryan Matwiy on Aug. 8 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
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 this excellent guide.
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