Curing Meats at Home with Meredith Leigh

by: Sara on 12/07/2018

On the last day of our winter sale we are featuring an excerpt from Pure Charcuterie: The Craft and Poetry of Curing Meats at Home by Meredith Leigh, a food and farming specialist. She writes, works, cooks, and eats with the goal of helping others to understand that food is the most fundamental common denominator to our collective and individual quality of life.

At the end of the blog download recipes from the book including Apple Horseradish Sausage, and three  quick sauces for holiday entertaining. Order before midnight on December 7th and receive a 40% discount on this and all other New Society titles.

mere in apron- Erin Adams credit

Author Meredith Leigh (Photo Credit Erin Adams)

I believe that in the search for what is genuine, the answer is to create. Cured meats are works of art that will open you to the land that feeds the animal, the mindful slaughter and butchery of the meat that so affects quality, and the creative possibility within yourself that curates these efforts into flavorful food. Cured meats are growing in popularity, and that is a very good thing. However, the representation of charcuterie as gourmet, over time, has created cultural and culinary blockades against the best representation of cured meat, and the accessibility of its creation. In trying to marry art and necessity,this book aims to ensure that we do not engage in the dangerous misconception that the everyday cook will not be able to cure meats. I challenge my students to consider that America is one of the only places on Earth where the rich can steal traditions and even ideas from the poor, and convince the poor that they don’t want them back.

The cultural attitude du jour is that cured meats are refined, and they are, but not by money or by class as we perceive. While their right preparation is a labor of time, talent and skill, the way we monetize time, talent and skill should receive ample skepticism. Quality cured meats are created by extremely industrious people from meager circumstances the world over. Preserved meat products a rose from need and ingenuity, simple resources and pure ingredients. Art,born of necessity. Let us not forget this, and let us also celebrate it, by ensuring that we have twelve-year-olds hanging hams in their closets,and urban homesteaders cold smoking bacon on the stoop.

So therefore, in solemn worship of salt, dedicated to the unfathomable variation in soil, and powerfully dependent on the pig, the duck, the tin-tinged organs, we forge ahead. We want back in there.Let us into the space we can feel all over. We want more of what is real, and we want to savor it, slowly. We want things that are beautiful,meaningful. We want things that last.

Download Recipes Here




Also by Meredith Leigh, The Ethical Meat Handbook:  Complete Home Hutchery, Charcuterie and Cooking for the Conscious Omnivore


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