Update: I added a couple of photos of the porchetta before it went on the fire.
I'm very excited about 2010 and all the opportunities and possibilities it holds. Things are coming along quite well here at Salt & Time. I'm just about done with my shop (I will post some pictures soon), and if everything goes according to plan, my first batch of salume will go in the drying room sometime next week.
In the mean time, I took the shop for a test drive and made some sausage and a porchetta for Christmas dinner. The sausage was a (slightly) Spicy Italian with fennel seeds. My brother in law smoked them with great care and they came out tasting great. The porchetta was quite tasty, but also a bit of an adventure. Weighing in at about 30 lbs, it quickly overpowered the electric motor on the spit. Not spinning, and sitting a little too close to the fire, the outside of the porchetta quickly went from crispy to blackened at the twine I had tied it with began to catch on fire and burst. A little quick thinking and a handful of metal skewers and we managed to avoid disaster. The skin was too charred to eat, but the meat inside was well protected and came out wonderfully moist and flavorful.
Created with Admarket's flickrSLiDR.
I'm really enjoying incorporating the influence of my new home with the Italian traditions that first inspired me, and nothing says Texas like applying a healthy dose of fire and smoke to meat. I'm looking forward to continuing to experiment with Texan food traditions in the coming year.