The beginning of a meaty adventure.

This weekend I will begin my journey into the world of cured meats, I could not be more excited.

A cooking class has spurred my foray into the world of basement meat (BM).  I attended the Curing Meat class by The Seattle Meat Collective at The Pantry in Seattle last weekend and it was fantastic.

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It was a 4 hour-long class that would introduce ten lucky individuals to the pleasure of making your own basement meat.

Here is a description of the class from The Seattle Meat Collective website:

Curious about the curing process and ready to jump in? Then join Sarah Wong, co-founder of the Seattle Meat Collective, for this class on curing meats at home! You’ll learn about flavor profiles, starter cultures, and shaping and drying sausage as you make pancetta, bresaola, landjager, and finocchiona. Safety, sanitation, and environment will be discussed as well as resources and references provided for beginning your own dry curing at home. You’ll start your own pancetta in class, and then take your piece home, to finish curing. – The Seattle Meat Collective (Cured Meats Class, $110) 

In the class, we discussed the curing process from both a practical and theoretical perspective. We got our hands dirty with a practical session, where we took turns applying just the right amount of pressure when filling a sausage.

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The longer I listened to the group talk about their passion for cured meat, the more I knew this was going to be a life-long hobby for me. I couldn’t wait to take the pancetta we had made in class back to my kitchen. Here is said pancetta:

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Pancetta with bay leaf, juniper berries, and black peppercorns. And of course, insta cure #1.

Before the class was over, I had purchased two books on curing meat. I wanted to get an understanding of the basics so that I could build a dry curing chamber for this pancetta.

Book 1: Olympia Provisions: Cured Meats and Tales from an American Charcuterie


Book 2: The River Cottage Curing and Smoking Handbook


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