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In The Charcuterie: The Fatted Calf's Guide to Making Sausage, Salumi, Pates, Roasts, Confits, and Other Meaty Goods

In The Charcuterie: The Fatted Calf's Guide to Making Sausage, Salumi, Pates, Roasts, Confits, and Other Meaty Goods

5.0 2
by Taylor Boetticher, Toponia Miller

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A definitive resource for the modern meat lover, with 125 recipes and fully-illustrated step-by-step instructions for making brined, smoked, cured, skewered, braised, rolled, tied, and stuffed meats at home; plus a guide to sourcing, butchering, and cooking with the finest cuts.

The tradition of preserving meats is one of the oldest of all the food arts


A definitive resource for the modern meat lover, with 125 recipes and fully-illustrated step-by-step instructions for making brined, smoked, cured, skewered, braised, rolled, tied, and stuffed meats at home; plus a guide to sourcing, butchering, and cooking with the finest cuts.

The tradition of preserving meats is one of the oldest of all the food arts. Nevertheless, the craft charcuterie movement has captured the modern imagination, with scores of charcuteries opening across the country in recent years, and none is so well-loved and highly regarded as the San Francisco Bay Area’s Fatted Calf.

In this much-anticipated debut cookbook, Fatted Calf co-owners and founders Taylor Boetticher and Toponia Miller present an unprecedented array of meaty goods, with recipes for salumi, pâtés, roasts, sausages, confits, and everything in between. A must-have for the meat-loving home cook, DIY-types in search of a new pantry project, and professionals looking to broaden their repertoire, In the Charcuterie boasts more than 125 recipes and fully-illustrated instructions for making brined, smoked, cured, skewered, braised, rolled, tied, and stuffed meats at home, plus a primer on whole animal butchery.

Take your meat cooking to the next level: Start with a whole hog middle, stuff it with a piquant array of herbs and spices, then roll it, tie it, and roast it for a ridiculously succulent, gloriously porky take on porchetta called The Cuban. Or, brandy your own prunes at home to stuff a decadent, caul fat–lined Duck Terrine. If it’s sausage you crave, follow Boetticher and Miller’s step-by-step instructions for grinding, casing, linking, looping, and smoking your own homemade Hot Links or Kolbász.

With its impeccably tested recipes and lush, full-color photography, this instructive and inspiring tome is destined to become the go-to reference on charcuterie—and a treasure for anyone fascinated by the art of cooking with and preserving meat.

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Boetticher and Miller are a match made in hog heaven. Having met at the Culinary Institute of America, the couple worked at several Bay Area restaurants before establishing the Fatted Calf charcuterie in San Francisco in 2003. There they provide a variety of cured-meat wonders and offer classes such as “Pig, Woman, Knife” and “All About Duck.” They bring their work to the page here with photo-enhanced instructions on butchering, rendering fat, properly aging salami, and the like. Over the course of 125 recipes, they explore stand-alone vittles like pork sausage, corned beef, headcheese, and a soup stock made with ginger, chilies, and 12 pounds of duck and pork bones, as well as offering many a hot dinner entrée. A chapter titled “Skewered, Rolled, Tied, and Stuffed” features options like fig- and sausage-stuffed quails, and grilled rabbit skewers with chicories, olives, and almonds. Among the spicier selections are goat shoulder; birria, which is a Mexican stew (birria literally means “mess”); and a Oaxacan-style chorizo that calls for four types of chilies. It perhaps takes a butcher’s mind-set to see meat loaf as a “classic American paté,” but there can be no arguing with the authors’ ménage of sirloin and pork, served with a ketchup-based cocktail sauce. (Sept.)
From the Publisher
“A Best Cookbook of 2013”—Sunset

“No one in America makes more diverse charcuterie, more consistently, using better product than the Fatted Calf. And no American has ever written a more comprehensive book on the subject—this is a must-read.”
—Patrick Martins, founder of Slow Food USA and the Heritage Radio Network, president of Heritage Foods USA
“If you love chopping, grinding, salting, stuffing, and curing—or anything deliciously handmade—then this is the book for you! Taylor and Toponia show you how to make a wide array of meaty goods, from simple gingery duck legs to a hunter-style sausage.”
—April Bloomfield, chef/owner of the Spotted Pig, the Breslin, and the John Dory Oyster Bar, and author of A Girl and Her Pig
“This book is incredibly well written. The charcuterie recipes are outstanding, and Taylor and Toponia’s clear instruction make the process less intimidating and more accessible. The other recipes are very inspired—their diverse flavors and preparations will take you on a great little culinary odyssey.”
—Traci Des Jardins, chef/owner of Jardinière and Mijita Cocina
“With In the Charcuterie, Taylor and Toponia have created the New American cured meat manifesto. Like a plump, overstuffed sausage, this incredible piece of work—the product of years of experience and a lifetime of passion—is brimming with useable, accessible recipes that are fit for the home cook and the professional chef alike. This book sets the bar for neotraditional charcuterie makers.”
—Matt Jennings, chef/owner of Farmstead

“To me, there is nothing more exhilarating than butchering, cooking, and preserving meat. Understanding the process and respecting the ingredients is key, and it’s clear from In the Charcuterie that Taylor and Toponia have devoted their lives to mastering this craft. I always emphasize the importance of butchery to my cooks...now I can just buy them this book!”
—Marc Vetri, chef/owner of Vetri and author of Rustic Italian Food and Il Viaggio di Vetri

"One of the best-known of the new charcutiers is the Bay Area's Fatted Calf, so it's probably only reasonable that when founders Taylor Boetticher and Toponia Miller wrote a cookbook that they should call it In the Charcuterie, despite the fact that that title sells the book short. In the Charcuterie is much more than a guide to hams and salumi. In reality, it's nothing less than a thorough overview of our growing infatuation with good meat. There are guides to choosing cuts, to parsing the differences among the heritage breeds and to DIY butchery large and small. And, of course, there's lots of good information on how to cook meat. But where the book really shines — and at least partially justifies the title — are on the kinds of quick-cooked charcuterie items that are easily approachable by any reasonably ambitious home cook: pâtés, terrines, confits and meat pickles."
—LA Times

Library Journal
According to husband-and-wife team Boetticher and Miller, founders of the Fatted Calf Charcuterie, those who long to revive the traditional craft of preserving meats cannot take shortcuts. Should readers undertake their tantalizing recipes—mostly classics with contemporary flavor profiles—they'll need to render fats, simmer stocks, grind whole spices, stuff and link sausages, and patiently wait for meats to age, cure, brine, and smoke. Advanced home cooks and slow-food devotees will appreciate the authors' broad coverage of butchery and preserving techniques, often accompanied by step-by-step photos. VERDICT Informative and ambitious, this charcuterie collection blends gourmet recipes (e.g., duck liver mousse with Armagnac cream) with precise, readable instructions. Fans of Michael Ruhlman's Charcuterie and Salumi, take note.

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Read an Excerpt

Introduction: Come on in
When you first walk through the doors of the charcuterie, it feels as if you’ve entered an enchanted world of meaty wonders. The aroma of crispy-skinned pork roast fills the shop, inviting you to try a bite. Our cases are filled with pâtés, salumi, sausages, roasts, and terrines—and when the meat counter crew offers you a slice of the fennel-flecked sbriciolona and a piece of headcheese, it’s hard to say no. Walk back into our kitchen and you’ll smell spices toasting, bones roasting, and broths simmering. Someone is churning out coils of fresh sausage from the hand-cranked stuffer, and someone else is hanging huge, freshly-cased cotechino on hooks for fermentation. We’re hand-shredding a veritable vat of duck rillettes, seasoning it with freshly chopped thyme, then packing it into jars and sealing each with a creamy layer of duck fat. Bacon has just finished in the smoker! Go ahead and tear a hot piece off the end of the glistening slab. Peer into our curing room where row upon row of salami, guanciale, and pancetta hang quietly, patiently, enrobed in a delicate snowy bloom of mold.

Our book, In the Charcuterie, has something for everyone, whether you’re a skeptical ex-vegan, scimitar-wielding novice, or seasoned old pro. When you walk into a butcher’s shop and spy a pork shoulder in the case, we want you to see more than just a hunk of meat. We want you to see all of the possibilities that the pork shoulder has to offer—from shoulder chops and stuffed roasts to picnic hams and salami. We want you, knife in hand, to experience what it is like to break a whole animal into its parts. We want to share with you not only the knowledge of butchering and cooking we have accumulated through our work, but also the respect we have for the raw ingredients, the satisfaction we derive from working in the kitchen, and the pleasure of sitting at the table with friends and family to eat what you have created. We want people to better understand the processes of charcuterie by participating in it. So we invite you to slip into our greasy clogs for just a little while. In this book, we’ll ask you to plunge your hands into a freshly ground farce to make sausage, inhale the intense perfume of a spice blend, confidently carve a roast, and more. And at the end, you get to enjoy the delicious results of your labor and passion.

We cook a lot, not just in the charcuterie but at home as well. The methods and recipes in this book are based on our professional experience of working in a charcuterie for roughly a decade—but they are also written with the home cook in mind. Quite a few of the recipes and methods presented here are simple to master, and we hope that they’ll edge their way into your culinary repertoire with ease. Others are more challenging, multistepped processes that require several days or even weeks.

Charcuterie is a discipline that requires patience. Allowing plenty of time and space is the key to successful smoking, curing, and terrine- or sausage-making. The gratification is far from immediate, and may seem out-of-sync with our modern way of life. But we believe that there is a place for these meaty meditations: they can teach us truths about history, community, sustainability, and self-sufficiency. With In the Charcuterie, we want you to take the same pleasure from butchering, cooking, and preserving your meat as you do savoring it at the table.
Carne Cruda

After a long transcontinental flight with missed connections and a jarring car ride from Nice, we finally arrived in adorable Alba too late for lunch. We found one tiny restaurant about to shut its doors for the afternoon that took pity on us. The kitchen was officially closed, but the staff fixed us a plate of carne cruda, a slightly intimidating heap of hand-cut raw beef drizzled with olive oil and accompanied with a lemon wedge. It was a love-at-first-bite moment, and to our surprise, we polished it off with gusto, then proceeded to eat our weight in various incarnations of carne cruda throughout Piedmont. Both well-trimmed sirloin and tenderloin, two cuts that are lean, flavorful, and tender, work well in this recipe. It is crucial to use fresh high-quality beef and to cut the meat by hand. To ensure a small, uniform dice, chill the beef thoroughly beforehand and use a sturdy, sharp chef’s knife. Crisp flatbreads, crostini, or halved hard-boiled eggs make excellent accompaniments. Serves 6 as an hors d’oeuvre or 4 as a first course
1 pound (450 g) lean beef sirloin or tenderloin, well chilled
1 teaspoon coarse sea salt (such as Maldon or fleur de sel)
1/4 teaspoon finely ground pepper
1 clove garlic, finely chopped
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
Generous handful of arugula, cut into 
narrow ribbons
1/3 cup (75 ml) extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for finishing
Trim any silver skin, gristle, or large pieces of fat from the exterior of the beef, then cut into 1/4-inch (6 mm) cubes. Place the beef in a bowl. Add the salt, pepper, garlic, lemon juice, parsley, and half of the arugula and fold them into the beef to mix evenly. Stir in the olive oil and taste for seasoning.

To serve, mound the beef mixture onto a large plate. Garnish with the remaining arugula and drizzle with olive oil.

Meet the Author

TAYLOR BOETTICHER and TOPONIA MILLER are the husband-and-wife team behind the Fatted Calf Charcuterie, which they opened in San Francisco and Napa after apprenticing with the legendary Tuscan butcher Dario Cecchini (made famous by Bill Buford's kitchen memoir Heat). The couple met at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park, then moved to the Bay Area and worked in restaurants including Mustards, The Café at MOMA, and Café Rouge.

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In The Charcuterie: The Fatted Calf's Guide to Making Sausage, Salumi, Pates, Roasts, Confits, and Other Meaty Goods 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 2 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
 Informative and beautiful,this book is a treasured resource.  Buy one for the foodies in your life.
FDwyer11 More than 1 year ago
A true master peace; a reference for the master's and a great intro to the beginner's or the curious.