The Year of Meat

One day while perusing Grow and Resist, I noticed a nifty little button ”CharcutePalooza”
she had added to her page.  It intrigued me, so I clicked it as I am oft prone to do. It took me to Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Kitchen where I learned more about Charcutepalooza and The Year of Meat.  I was deeply saddened to learn that I was too late to jump on the Meat Bandwagon.  Or was I? 

Much to my delight the challenge had been extended.  And, there are prizes.  Glamorous, wonderful prizes.  Okay, I won’t be winning this one.  It isn’t random.   The competition is fierce.  I am relatively new to the art of charcuterie and I take horrible pictures. 

However, I enjoy trying new things.  I like eating local food and prefer sustainably raised meats.  Homemade andouille sausage is amazing.  My husband eats more bacon than I thought was humanly possible.  Making my own sausage and bacon seems like a perfectly logical thing for me to do. 

I missed the deadline for the first post, Duck Prosciutto, but since I signed up late I can catch up later by making duck prosciutto before the end of the year as long as I complete the rest of the posts on time.  February’s challenge is bacon.  Hubby is happy, I’m happy, everyone wins. 

The recipes for the challenge come from Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and CuringThe challenge isn’t just to write recipe posts about how  we make the meats, but to write posts about how the finished meats are used.  Watch for those posts on the 15th of each month from now until December.

Bacon is an excellent meat to start with; it couldn’t be easier. 

Look at the marbling on that pork belly!

So, I ordered a 2 lb. pork belly from Oleson’s Market and got to work.

Salt, pepper, sugar

Mixed up and ready to coat the meat.


First, get out the scale and measure 8 oz. of Kosher salt into a dish.
Add 4 oz. of brown sugar and a few turns of cracked pepper.
Mix it all together with a fork.

Dump the mixture into a baking dish and dredge the pork belly in it.

pork belly dredged in bacon salt

Pork dredged in seasonings and ready for the fridge.

Cover the pork belly and refrigerate for a week, flipping daily.

Are you excited yet?  Check back next week for the conclusion of this thrilling tale.



Filed under Charcutepalooza, food

5 responses to “The Year of Meat

  1. Maggie

    Yay for homemade bacon!! Is the Oleson’s belly local? I have a couple friends and were planning a fresh (brats, etc) making party sometime. But since we want to freeze the sausages we need fresh pork, not already frozen.

    • aastricker

      I don’t think the Oleson’s belly is local, but I’m not sure who would have fresh pork at this time of year. Joan at Olds slaughtered all hers in the fall. I plan to go to Burritt’s next time, but I’m not 100% sure of their sources either. I like to support Oleson’s because they are smaller and they do get local meat in even if it isn’t all the time. They always support the Fair and the kids that are raising meat animals; I got “Fair” lamb from them last year.

  2. I am so glad you found your way over there and are in! Too fun huh? I really don’t know what I have gotten myself into….but it is bound to be an adventure!

  3. Pingback: February Charcutepalooza: Bacon | Notes From a Country Girl Living in the City

  4. Pingback: Charcutepalooza! Project: Homemade Bacon « The Cooking Channel

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