I’ve been doing a lot of curing and charcuterie projects lately and have been experimenting with infused salts and smoked salts. Luckily I live in Tasmania and have access to an expansive coastline which is not only visually stunning but also clean and largely free from pollutants – perfect for making sea salt!
I had been wanting to try my hand at making sea salt and hoping to eventually use it in my cooking. It is something that I’ve wanted to try for quite some time and it turned out to be a satisfying way to get a step closer to self-sufficiency. I hope you’ll find this as rewarding as I did. Just remember – be patient! Continue reading
Fresh caviar is delicious, but the idea of preparing caviar can be really daunting; I know I was really nervous the first time I tried! Both salmon and trout caviar is incredibly easy to make at home (and nearly not as hard as you may think). Actually, the most challenging part is getting your hands on fresh roe.
Fresh roe is really hard to come by here. If you’re lucky enough to catch a trout or a salmon with a belly full of roe, you’ve pretty much hit the jackpot! You can also buy it fresh from a fish monger, but that is pretty rare these days because we have a lot of farming here. The eggs stripped from the fish are used in the hatcheries or sold commercially and prepared into caviar by the fish farms. If you’re lucky, like me, and live relatively close to a fish farm, then you can ask them. I organised with the hatchery manager to purchase a few kilo’s of roe during the spawning season. This hatchery farms both salmon and trout; I also purchased some salmon roe and caught several trout from the stocked ponds – they all where carrying roe, so I was extremely happy to say the least.
Blood cake and black pudding are very similar. The only difference is the casing or skin; the filling is essentially the same. Blood cake is skinless and is cooked in a loaf pan inside a bain-marie whereas black pudding is stuffed into hog casings and cooked like a boiled sausage. Baking it in a loaf pan is definitely the easier option and is much less messy. Continue reading
Cured alpaca is something that I have been wanting to do for quite some time. Getting alpaca meat in Tasmania, however, proved to be somewhat of a challenge. I spent a fair bit of time searching online to try and find a supplier. After what seemed like an eternity, I finally found an alpaca farm in South Australia that breeds alpacas for meat. The farm is called Fleurieu Prime Alpaca (check them out here); with a bit of correspondence back and forth with the owner, I was able to get alpaca meat sent to Tasmania. Fleurieu Prime Alpaca produce a high quality lean meat, fine and uniform fleece, and quality pelts for local and overseas markets.
If you ever want to get in charcuterie making at home, then pancetta is the perfect beginners project. Not only is pancetta extremely simple to make, but probably one of my favourite types of charcuterie to eat. Pancetta is a close relative to bacon, having many similarities such as salty, rich pork flavours but is generally made without smoke and can be eaten raw. I wanted to add the smoked salt that I made in the previous post, hoping that the smokiness from the salt would pass onto the pancetta. Continue reading
A while back I was visiting a local Hazelnut farm and at the end of the carpark I noticed large piles of hazelnut shells. I don’t have a smoker or have actually smoked anything before, but thought the shells potentially could be a used as a good flavour for smoking. So I asked he owners nicely and they let me take some shells home.
Since I currently don’t have a smoker… yet, I wanted to try and smoke some salt on my kettle BBQ and use it in a charcuterie project – hoping that the salt would carry through and enhance the meat. Basically by smoking the salt, I wanted to give the finished product a smoky flavour without physically smoking the product.
This hot peri peri spice mix is a blend of lemon and chili flavours. It has a nice kick from the chili but also has a great flavour. Continue reading