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  1. The wine fridge worked out OK in the end - even though it's harder to maintain the humidity and temp. I'll let you know how the coppa turns out, but the salame rocks:
  2. Has anyone else had a problem with the dehumidifier taking too much moisture out of the chamber? Although I have the Grainger dehumidifier control set quite high, my other hygrometer tends to show a 40-45% humidity if I leave the dehumidifier on. My salame came awfully close to getting "case hardening," and I ended up just turning the humidifier off for the rest of the cure. Ian
  3. Update - Thank you Craigslist! $50 for a 52-bottle Haier wine refrigerator. Stoked. Ian
  4. Thanks all for the great discussion. I just got a 6-bottle Haier wine fridge on sale for Black Friday w/ free shipping. But based on the discussion, it sounds like the humidity issues will likely make this unusable for salumi curing. Bummer; I should have read the whole post prior to buying it instead of just looking at the pretty pictures! Thanks! Ian
  5. Am I wrong or was Tank closed a few times for health violations? I seem to recall seeing it closed with yellow notices on the doors 2-3 times over the last 2-3 years. I've avoided it since then because of that. (But liked the pho prior). Ian
  6. There are quite a few places on Argyle street. My fave is in the strip mall just south of Argyle. Flavorful broth, tender tendon, fatty brisket and al dente tripe. I think it's called "Le's Pho" (formerly "Pho Hoa"). http://tainammarket.com/otherStores.html
  7. Well done, folks. I can't wait to get a porchetta going this summer.
  8. Thanks for the feedback: I'll probably go with Slagel Family Farm or Wettstein Organic Farm. The former delivers to Mado restaurant - killed, eviscerated, etc. I took a butchering class at that restaurant , so hope to be able to remember my lessons when it's time to make porchetta. I buy meat from the Wettsteins' regularly, so might cross-shop a bit. As for the natural thing, really I'm just looking for a healthy, humanely raised pig. If it gets non-organic feed is lower on my priority list. I just want high-quality meat (nice thick belly, well-marbled meat, good flavor) that's raised in
  9. Lovely, lovely Baron d'Apcher.
  10. FYI - for all those in the Chicago area interested in whole-animal cooking or charcuterie, Mado Restaurant in Wicker Park has a series of demonstrations: hog butchering, pate/terrines, sausage making and headcheese. I went to the butchering class and came out with a much better understanding of how the animal fits together - and how to make porchetta! Worth a look. Cheers, Ian
  11. Thanks! Thanks for the tip re: end of the season. I had planned to wait until the spring to get the pig, but thought I'd start the planning and purchase the deep freezer first. I'm headed to a hog butchering class at Mado this weekend, should be fun.
  12. I'm looking to buy a naturally raised hog direct from a farmer near Chicago. Does anyone know of a source? Thanks, Ian
  13. I like Anglelic Organics - they seem to have many drop points near you. http://www.angelicorganics.com/Vegetables/vegetablescontent.php?contentfile=dropsites http://www.angelicorganics.com/BucktownWP.html
  14. Thanks for the tips posted thus far. One more question - the guanciale that I am now drying seems incredibly fatty. We cut into it after a week of drying to make some amatriciana, and it seems about 10% fat and 90% meat. Should I trim the fat? I'm confused in part because the Intertubes says that guanciale is leaner than bacon. Alternately, some say that they thought their guanciale was too fatty. BTW - Chicago-area Gulleters, this organic pork jowl was $3/lb. from Organic Pastures, normally at the Evanston Farmers' Market, but also available throughout the winter on a bi-weekly basis.
  15. The pork belly (the "Porky") bahn mi is pretty good! It doesn't equal the sandwiches at Bale, but is a good option in the Loop for sure.
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