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Everything posted by ianeccleston

  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 a clean and relatively happy setting, and is as "natural" as possible. Preferably "natural" would entail no antibotics, hormones, organic feed, etc., but the limited exposure to these is more important to me than everything being absolutely "organic." Cheers, Ian
  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.
  16. ianeccleston

    Making gravlax

    I too made gravlax for the first time for the holidays. If you haven't tried it, pick up a pound of salmon and try it - it's easy and not expensive if you use farmed salmon. (No doubt better with wild, but ....) I compared quite a few recipes online and ended up with this: Combine 1 cup sugar, 1 cup salt and pour over 3 lbs salmon (farmed). Rub in 2 tbs juniper berries, 2 tsp coriander, some dill, black pepper and wrap in foil. Turn every 12 hours -- very tasty after 3 days in the fridge (I didn't put weights on it). Ian
  17. Thanks!!! I saw from the Intertubes that Arak was the anise-flavored one, didn't realize this spelling was also. Much appreciated!
  18. Thanks for the comments. Saw this at my local grocer. Anyone know if it's any good, and if it's the type used for punch? $20.99. Thanks!
  19. I was thinking coriander seeds. This will be my first time trying arrack - at your suggestion I'll leave the coriander out of the first test batch. I'm tempted to leave the star anise in though, it seems like it would go with the hibiscus really well. Maybe I'll add a bit of lemon too. Does that sound puncy? (I am a punch novice -- really I'm just trying to tweak the "spice, sweet, weak, strong and sour" that are referenced in the famous punch poem)
  20. Howdy - first post on the beverage board. So, I'm thinking that a punch of hibiscus tea, star anise, maybe coriander, rum/brandy and/or arrack, orance slices + zest, pear garnich would be tasty. What say ye?
  21. ianeccleston


    *Major bump* Funny - five years later and I'm considering the same task. I ended up roasting a whole big beast, not a suckling in 2004, BTW. This year, a smaller party, a smaller pig. And yet the search for a good recipe for porchetta of suckling pig. I found the butcher, but not the technique for a home oven. Any ideas?
  22. Thanks for the bump! Three years after posting in this thread that I bought a hinged terrine mold, I finally made my first pâté en croûte: ground pork, pistachios and a pork tenderloin a la Ruhlman's Charcuterie.
  23. I had the same thought!! Broccoli rabe, provolone, roast pork. Yum.
  24. Hah! Is it larger than this?... Harold's Deli Edison, NJ Height: 7 inches Weight: 26 oz. ← I don't think that qualifies as a sandwich anymore.
  25. http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/20778329/ The Today Show is apparently having a contest for the best sandwich in the nation. One of the five finalists is the "Frenchy's Fantasy" at Perry's Deli in the loop in Chicago. Has anyone had it? I tried it today... whoa - double decker roast beef sandwich with bacon. Not the best sandwich I've had; possibly the largest. Next time I'll try the peanut butter, ham and bacon with tomatoes and mayo sammy there... Ian
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