Sunday, January 15, 2006

That'll Do, Pig

This is my "preserved pork" post, as requested by Kate Hill and Ms. Divina Cucina.
The minute I saw the challenge to honor the slow pig (apologies, Babe), I knew I was there. I may have dawdled a bit longer than I should have to get started (I'm a slow pig), but having just eaten the fruits of my labors, I think I did just fine.
I'm reluctant to get into sausage-making, the kind with the nitrates and the intestine casings and the chemistry.
But. OK. Let me tell you a story.
I was a guest at a big-deal PR dinner at Chez Panisse some few years ago, starring Jacques Pepin and two other high-octane chefs. I was seated at a table with a local food show-off, and we were all served dishes specially made by the three chefs. My favorite was Pepin's sausage over a peasanty potato salad, and it apparently caught the fancy of Mr. Show-Off.
When Jacques (can I say we're on a first-name basis? No?) came by our table to see how we were enjoying the meal, Mr. Show-Off gushed, and asked how he could get the recipe for his radio show.
Pepin gave him an icy glare, and no verbal answer.
Turns out the sausage recipe is in the cookbook collaboration by Monsieur Pepin and Madame Julia Child, the chronicle of their PBS show. And Jacques was apparently perturbed that Mr. Show-Off didn't know that.
Well, I had the book. And I raced home to find that the recipe for this superb homemade sausage is (here comes the caps) DOABLE!
Apparently Pepin hates having people not know all his personal history and every single recipe in all his books. I will skip over my other meeting with him, when he snubbed me pointedly for not knowing *where he lives*! (Connecticut.) Sheesh.
Super sausage. Easy for the home cook. Made with pork shoulder (Boston butt), seasoned with whatever you like... And the best part is, no casing. You actually simmer this sausage in water, wrapped in Saran and aluminum foil.
I will give you the recipe tomorrow.
You can't believe how good this is, and how easy.


Jack said...

Great post - for a Part 1.

Sam said...

smarty pants!

Sausage is on my to do list for this year, but I haven't done it yet.

I am gonna do skins though. I have no idea how to.

Good job Cookie Crumb - don't you just LOVE slow pig blogging weekend??

PS my mum called me yesterday and she told me how in love she is with beansprout. Seems like you have almost even got her to thinking she needs another dog.

cookiecrumb said...

Jack, don't you want to know who? Well, I'm Nar Saiyin'. Heh. (Ew.) You will love Part 2.
Sam: I'm in the middle of a haircut on Bean Sprout. He has so much hair, I have to spread the ordeal out, poor thing. Then I will have some tasty pics for your mum. (I want another dog too, but there are travel considerations to, um, consider.)
Yes, the pig thing was fantastic. Some day, casings.

ilva said...

cc-I'm drooling over here, post the recipe quick, it's getting disgustingly wet and cold to drool! And un-cool...

Kevin said...


I've got a 3 lb boston butt and a pound of fat in my fridge that I didn't have time to turn into sausage this weekend.[sigh]

Tomorrow, hopefully.

kudzu said...

Wow, Cookiecrumb, we were at the same dinner at Chez Panisse! I agree about Pepin's dish that night.

I don't agree with your take on his attitude, though. Perhaps I have just had good luck?

Will have to look into the sausage-making. When I got my very first Cuisinart, fresh breakfast sausage with sage and hot pepper was the first thing I turned out. By this I mean no-casing, ground meat to use in patties.

cookiecrumb said...

Kudzu: Yes, in fact I think we've met (but I'm just gonna drag out this anonymity thing a while longer). Let me just say in M. Pepin's honor that I absolutely loved his memoir, "The Apprentice," and would recommend it to anybody. So perhaps I was just unlucky.
Kevin: You can do it! Get crackin'.
Ilva: Here it comes. :-)

kudzu said...

Well now this is getting a little freaky. I'm trying to remember who I recognized and/or was introduced to that (lovely) evening. I think you have my email address -- so you can tell me privately about our connection. I promise not to publish it! (You can ask haddock about how good I am at keeping secrets.)

cookiecrumb said...

Kudzu: So I'll freak you out a little more. I don't think we met at *that* event. ;)

Kalyn said...

Cannot wait for the recipe. And there are no end of surprises in your background either! I sooo wanted to do slow pig weekend, but just didn't manage it.

I keep forgetting to tell you this, but next Saturday Bill Maher is coming to SLC and my best friend gave me the ticket as a Christmas present!! (It was a bit out of my Utah schoolteacher salary price range.) I'm so excited. I love his TV show. So delightfully irreverent.

cookiecrumb said...

That's a GOOD present! You'll have a good, un-PC time.

Passionate Eater said...

Wow, pretty impressive that you got to mingle with the celebrity chefs! You must be a big name in the Bay Area food arena, or significant benefactor for KQED. Since I am neither, I am very thankful for your enjoyable post, because I was able to experience Jacques Pepin vicariously through you.

Also, I know what you mean about enjoying your anonymity--I like it too, although I've been "outed" by my friends, and if you do a search on Google for me, you can find my entire geneology. Darn you Google!

cookiecrumb said...

Scary, huh? So are you challenging me to Google you? :D
Actually, it was my big-name husband who got me into that awesome dinner with all the chefs and writers and hoohahs. Although I did have a minor position in the local food scene, briefly. Before I became a tomato ranchin' bum!

Diva said...

Thanks so much for pigging out with us. We hope we started someplace wher we can share.. not just for a weekend!

Pork is forever and always!
anyone tried the bacon brittle I have read about?

cookiecrumb said...

Hi Diva: I'm flattered that you left a comment. Thanks!
It was LOADS of fun to participate. Here's to future pig-blogging.
Bacon brittle? Uh oh. Gotta look into that!

lisa--in a nutshell said...

Gotta love a "Babe" reference in the title.

Well, if you're going to say you and Jacques are on a first-name basis, doesn't it follow that you will share with US your first name?? No, wait--don't! I feel special knowing it! LOL