Thursday, December 23, 2010

Violino di Capra - Goat Prosciutto

If I've said it once, I've said it a thousand times. Prosciutto, while commonly associated with a pig leg, can really be made with anything. In this case; a goat leg. This is a a typical salume from Valchiavenna, just a few kilometers from Switzerland. Normally, this is made from the leg of a mountain goat. Unfortunately, mountain goats seem to be in short supply here in Atlanta, so I used what I could find.

The name of the product is pretty interesting. It's called a Violino di Capra, which translated to "goat violin". It has this name because the consumer is meant to hold the cured goat leg like a violin and slice it with a knife as if it we're a violin bow. You can see a good picture of that here. It's passed from diner to diner for each person to slice at will. I vividly remember eating this as a kid in Italy, and distinctly remember the really gamey, bracing flavor and the chewy tough meat. I've been looking forward to making it for a while. I've read that by tradition once the Violino is started, people cannot leave the table until the whole thing is finished! Recipes are guarded very jealously, passed on father to son, so it looks like I'll have to come up with my own recipe. Of course I'll share it here!


Friday, December 17, 2010

Cotechino 2010

It's that time of year again, when cotechino makes its yearly appearance, in preparation for the New Years feast! I've explained the story of cotechino a couple of times before, both in 2008 and 2009. This year I was fortunate enough to have some concia, or spice mixture, from a fellow Italian in San Francisco. He gets it from his uncle in Italy, and he kindly sent me a pack to try. Sorry, i don't know what's in it, but i think it's the usual spice suspects which you can see on previous years posts.


Saturday, December 11, 2010

Meet the Nasone

I'm sure many of you have heard of Zampone, the foreleg of a pig which has been "emptied" and then used as a "bag" for cotechino filling. It's really quite delicious. It's called a Zampone because it's a derivative of the word "zampa" which means "trotter" in Italian.

Well, I decided to invent my own insaccato (stuffed charcuterie/cured meat). I'm naming it the Nasone. I'm going to apply for IGP or DOP status.


Thursday, December 9, 2010

Salame di Capra - Goat Salame

As I've previously said, while pork is certainly the main, delicious, animal that is used in cured meats in Italy, pretty much everything else is too. What that "everything else" is is based on the region. In Piemonte, specifically the Canavese area, as well as in Valcamonica in Lombardia, goat is sometimes used in making of salame.
This is my 1st attempt at a goat salame.