By Michael Ruhlman & Brian Polcyn
Salumi - This book explains in recipes and step-by-step technique illustrations, the craft of making salumi. Released in 2012, it is Ruhlman and Polcyn's 'sequel' to the bestseller Charcuterie although it focuses purely on dry curing techniques. This book is a great companion for our Banquet Bag range of products for Dry Aged Steak and Charcuterie. The use of banquet bags instead of a curing chamber or curing in your garage during winter, will not only accelerate the process, it will make it safer too, which is very important when dry curing meat over many months.
Once practiced as a matter of survival, Italian salumi is a form of preserved meats, primarily parts of the pig, commonly known as prosciutto, coppa, pancetta, guanciale, and salami in America. On a general level, salumi is easy to accomplish - salt meat and let it dry, slice thin and eat. To accomplish excellence in salumi requires good quality meat then seasoned with 'aromatics,' such as cracked black pepper, paprika, or thyme leaves.
Ruhlman and Polcyn begin with detailed instructions on how to break down the whole hog yourself. They then cover the eight main salumi preparations: shoulder (spalla), neck (coppa), jowl (guanciale), back fat (lardo), loin (lombo/lonza), belly (pancetta), ham (prosciutto), and salami (products made from ground or cut pieces of pork). The recipes that follow include the easiest method for a given cut (e.g. bone-in, air-dried shoulder) and an alternative technique often specific to a region of Italy (e.g. palette crudo, a stuffed, cured pig shoulder from Piedmont). The second half of the book describes variations on those eight preparations.
Recipes include salumi from other animals, such as a lamb prosciutto with garlic and bresaola, dry-cured beef, a specialty from the Lombardy region. Ruhlman and Polcyn also offer suggestions for eating and serving your home-made salumi. Injected with first-person accounts from both authors, this is a book for adventurous home cooks and chefs who want to make dry-curing a part of their restaurant's production.