Charcuterie 101 Cooking Class & Rillet Recipe

Hi food friends! 

A few weeks ago I took a charcuterie 101 class out in Lacombe at the Ellis Bird Farm. This class was put on by Chef Blake Anderson of Terre It Up catering and Todd Lawrence of Soil To Salt. These 2 gentelmen were amazing, hilarious and passionate about meat!  

(You can follow chef Blake on Twitter @terreitup and Todd @soiltosalt )

 

To clear things up, charcuterie is a style of cooking dedicated to prepared meats such as bacon, ham, sausage, terrines, galantines, ballotines, pâtés, and confit, primarily from pork.

In this intimate class of 12 people we learned the basics of making your own sausage, curing bacon, rendering lard and making pâté and rilette (my personal favourite!). 

We started the class off prepping all our pork by chopping and cooling. When working with ground pork it’s very important for the meat and all your tools to be very cold so that the fat doesn’t just melt into the meat. 

 

Our workstation

  

Prep for the garlic sausage

  

Bacon slabs

  

Yum look at that fat!

  

Blake showing off the pork!

  

Todd getting the meat grinder ready

  

Course ground

  

Adding the aromatics to the fine ground

   

So after all the meat was cut and well chilled we ground and ground and ground some more to make our sausage (3 kinds) and pâté. 

To make the pâté we used a combo of course ground and fine ground pork shoulder and liver, herbs and spices, as well as some liquid. Then a loaf pan was lined with caul fat (could use bacon or plastic instead) and half the meat mixture pressed in then we added whole pistachios then topped with the rest of the meat. We then placed it in the oven and cooked it ‘Bain Marie’ style (placing the smaller pan into a larger pan with warm water). 

 

Patè mixture ready

  

Lining the cooking pans with cule

  

Adding pistachios

        

Slicing the pate

   

   

After the sausage meat was ground and seasoned we chilled it some more. Can’t have that meat getting too warm and the fat melting. Then we prepped the casing and started filling. After the sausage was filled we twisted the links. 

   
    

In the beginning of the day we also started the rilette. Rilette is similar to pâté, in that it’s made from pork, but with this dish the meat is cubed first then cooked slowly in fat with the aromatics until it is tender enough to shred. It’s then mixed with some of the cooking fat to form a paste and cooled. 

 

Pork and aromatics

  

Lots of fat for it to cook in

  

Pan out of the oven looking tasty

  

Begining to shred the pork

  

Shredding by hand but can also use a mixer

  
This day was so much fun! And I met some amazing people who I hope to see again some time! I’m also working on getting my own grinder and sausage stuffer to be able to make my own meaty treats. 

There was talk of a Charcuterie 201 class in which they would teach cured meats such as salami. I hope that’s true cause I’d be there in a heartbeat!

Rilette du Pork

Ingredients:

– 3lbs boneless pork shoulder, cut into roughly 2″ pieces

– 2-3 sprigs of thyme

– 3 bay leaves

– 5 cloves 

– 1 cinnamon stick 

(put thyme, bay, cloves, cinnamon into muslin and tie)

– 1-2 whole bulbs garlic, sliced in half

– 2 celary stalks, cut into 3-4 pieces

– 1 onion, cut into quarters

– 1 leek, cut into 3-4 pieces

– 1 tsp fresh ground black pepper

– 1 Tbsp salt

– enough pork fat to cover the meat while cooking 

Directions:

– Put the pork into a large roasting pan and toss in the vegetables and muslin wrapped aromatics. 

– Top with enough melted fat to coat the pork then sprinkle with salt. 

– Cook meat at 300F for 4-6 hours until the meat is tender and falls apart. 

– Once cooked, remove meat from dish and set aside to cool. When the meat is cool enough to touch, mix it either by hand or using the paddle attachment of a mixer until it is quite fine. 

– Add enough of the leftover fat to the shredded meat to create a spreadable mixture and mix for about 2 minutes. 

– Taste the mixture and adjust the seasoning. 

– Pack mixture into small jars ensuring its packed tight with no air pockets. 

– Cool in fridge then top with a little more fat just to coat the top and seal the meat. 

– This should last about 2 weeks in the fridge or you can freeze it and it will last months! 

– Allow to come to room temperature before serving (about 1 hour out of fridge). 

Enjoy! 

Thanks and until next time, enjoy your adventures!

Kyra 

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Kevin Bacons (Bacon Wrapped Smokies) – Recipe

Hi again!

So just in time for New Years I’m bringing you a recipe that is a little indulgent. But since it’s the holidays I’m sure your not counting calories for another couple days anyhow 😉
I wanted this recipe to have a fun name so I call them Kevin Bacons. What they are is a mini smokie (or mini pepperoni) wrapped in bacon, baked with brown sugar and then finished in a maple and brown sugar glaze. I promise you these are a crowd pleaser. I made them at Christmas for a pre dinner appetizer and a double batch was almost all gone before the turkey was served.

Kevin Bacons

Ingredients:
– 1 pack mini smokies or mini pepperonis (I get the smokies from Costco and the pepperoni from Save On)
– 1 pack bacon
– 1 Cup brown sugar
– 1 Cup maple syrup
– Toothpicks
– 1 Tbs Dijon mustard or 1 tsp Sriracha (optional)

Directions:
– Line a baking sheet with either parchment paper or aluminum foil.
– Cut bacon into thirds. I cut mine straight in the pack as this helps it all hold together and not slide around while trying to cut it.
– Open pack of mini smokies or pepperoni.
– Wrap each mini smokie with a piece of bacon and skewer with toothpick then place on the baking sheet. Line them all up touching each other in neat little rows (see picture below)
– Once they are all wrapped take about 1/3 cup of the brown sugar and sprinkle it on top of them then lightly pat it down.
– Put tray into oven and turn on to 350F. These will take about 20-30 mins to cook (until the bacon gets crisp). Keep an eye on them as once they are done it won’t take long for the sugar to start to burn.
– Remove from oven when done and using a slotted spoon or slotted spatula transfer them into either a crock pot (if taking to a potluck) or a baking dish.
– In a bowl combine the remaining sugar (2/3 C), the maple syrup and your mustard or hot sauce and whisk together then pour over your smokies.
– If they are in a baking dish then pop them back in the oven for about 5-10 mins just to warm them back up. If you’ve put them in a crock pot then keep them on the lowest setting until they disappear, which shouldn’t take long.
Enjoy!

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