Tuesday, December 21, 2010

All I Want for Christmas is a Sack of Meat

Last weekend my wife gave me my Christmas present early: an Artisan Meat Share from Craig Deihl of Cypress Restaurant.

We've already broken into the pork pate and the summer sausage, and both are terrific.  The pork pate includes, in addition to the obvious coarse-ground pork and spices, rich ingredients like pork liver, eggs, and cream plus onions and garlic, which result in what one might term one of the best meatloafs ever.

I'm even more enamored with the summer sausage.  It's a fermented, semi-dry sausage made from half beef and half pork, and it's blended with a whole bunch of spices that include black pepper, smoked paprika, mace, garlic, juniper, caraway, mustard, and marjoram.

Summer Sausage w/ a Selection of Cheese and Crackers

The fermentation not only helps preserve the sausage but also gives it a delightful tangy edge.  That and the slow smoking results in something that can only be described a deep and complex flavor.  The taste grows and expands as you hold it in your mouth, with very warm, smoky finish.  We've been eating it as simply as possible: sliced and served alongside cheese and crackers--and a dollop of pimento cheese, for good measure.

Also included in the bag is this line up: guanciale, lonza, saucisson sec, salami spread, country bologona, smoked turkey breast, and--if you can believe it--lamb bacon.  This last one is the most intriguing of them all.  It's cured with salt, brown sugar, and spices for 10 days and, the Meat Share's "User Guide" advises, should be eaten without cooking.

These should keep me busy over the Christmas holidays, and you can believe one or more of them will be turning up on the appetizer plates I'll be making for various holiday gatherings this week.

When in doubt, give the gift of meat.

P.S. Did I mention that my wife is the best Christmas gift buyer in the world?


The Wife said...

Your welcome. I have to say, just the sight of that meat and cheese "goody" plate has got my mouth watering. That stuff is goooooood.

WhiteTrashBBQ said...

I got a care package from Coopers BBQ in Llano Texas - Simply amazing stuff.

BTW - I've had this, but what the hell makes it summer sausage?

Janet said...

Thanks for sharing your meat. (Man. I feel weird saying that.)

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