Charcuterie is the art of making meat-products such as sausages, terrines and all the stuff you love to put on a slice of bread which is not cheese. It’s a big deal in France, like everything else in the culinary business, taking very seriously in France, has a long history and tradition. There are local, big, small, industrial, village style, family, gourmet and modern charcutiers. These are all great reasons for us to learn at least 2 lessons of the basics of the trade. The first charcuterie class took place this week. We walked in to an unfamiliar “lab” at school, on 8 am of a chilly morning. In the lab waited for us our guest of honor:
We started off with two hours of theoretical lesson about everything we just must know before starting. We have to know a lot (!) of things. Was long but very interesting class about types of pork, industrial raising, from birth to slaughter, fat rating system, systems of cutting, prices of pieces of meat in the beginning, middle and end of processing, industrial supplements and why they are malicious, all the pieces and cuts that are taken out of this half a pig and what they can be used for, techniques of salting, cooking, using these cuts. How to season them, to wrap them and tie roasts and all different kinds of traditional sausage wrappings, and the differences between them. It was intense. Then the chef started cutting, bonning, and separating the different cuts for us to see, experience and then in the end, use to cook and eat 🙂 We have had in 5 hours a complete tour of a pork starting from its slaughter to it being eating with a baguette. Apart from just being interesting it was also hard and sad to hear the story of an industrial growing of an animal. Sad but important to know, understand and keep in mind at all time. It’s not gonna make me go vegetarian but I do think we should know what we are cooking and eating, including the growth and the whole journey the animal had before reached a vacuum plastic wrap.
Enjoy the video + photo journey. I kept thinking about meat lovers I know and wish had been with me this day. So this post is dedicated to you: Alon and my mom. It’s not like you could actually be here but the videos very much gives the high lights of the day.
Another tie technique which takes more time but one can cut in the middle after tied and the roast doesn’t fall apart:
“Frenching” the pork chops:
Hope next time we will get more things to do ourselves. It was a great day for me and as you can imagine, we all went to lunch after that, of course!!