Today marks the final day for posting for the year long Charcutepalooza challenge that Cliff and I have been participating in all year. This is a project that will be continuing for us as we were not able to complete all of the challenges as planned. Some things in life got in the way the last month or so, we missed the November curing challenge all together. I will hang meat in our basement and be sure to share the adventure here. This charcuterie thing has taken hold at the Bernhardt household and definitely has our seal of approval.
The final challenge for December is showing off some of the great meat skills we've learned. Cliff and I have certainly learned a lot and tried a bunch of new things we would not have experienced if not for this project. Our best example of this is when we made a three day cassoulet. The recipe was from Michael Ruhlman and Anthony Bourdain.
It starts with a salt rub to the duck legs. We got ours at the North Market, one of the best resources for our Charcutepalooza challenges. While the legs were in the salt the beans were soaking in water.
On day two the duck legs were cooked and then cooled in duck fat. Then the meat party really began with the pork belly, beans, sausages, and the duck confit layered in the pan and in the oven for a couple of hours.
On day three we cooked the cassoulet once more for over an hour "until screamingly hot through and through." We enjoyed the cassoulet with my parents, a big loaf of crusty bread and a bottle of red wine, followed up with cupcakes for dessert.
Not only did we enjoy the cassoulet but we really enjoyed the entire process of learning to cure and cook with meat and the community that came with it. This is not our final meaty adventure, looking forward to many more to come.