For those of you who don’t know, the Italian word salumi is similar to the French word charcuterie: it refers to the tasty pig parts made from curing pork by using ancient and simple methods such as salt, time and also sometimes smoke. Charcuterie is a French term and technically means cooked flesh (usually referring to the pig) but does include cured pork products as well as cooked.
Salumi is the Italian term for pork meats, tasty pig parts, and includes salami, prosciutto, coppa (cappocollo in the south of Italy), pancetta, guanciale, lardo, speck. It also includes bresaola which is cured air dried beef, prosciutto cotto and mortadella although these last two are cooked.
bresaola: the lean beef rich in iron, super tasty and very lean I rub the beef in salt, then cure it with wine and spices for a few weeks. Finely slice it, eat with rocket, thin shavings of parmesan, some extra-virgin olive oil, cracked black pepper and lemon juice.
pancetta: Italy’s answer to bacon I take a whole pork belly from a happy pig, massage it with salt and leave it for a number of days in the coolroom, wash it off with Italian Pinot Grigio, rub it down with fresh New Zealand garlic and sprinkle it with herbs and spices. I cure it for a few weeks before hot-smoking it with manuka for a day in an old French oak wine barrel.
guanciale: I start by taking a very fresh happy pig’s head, and bone out the guanciale, the pig’s cheeks, wash and trim them well, and remove the glands, then cure the cheeks in salt for a week or more in the coolroom. I then wash them in wine, rub them with fresh New Zealand garlic and rub them with black pepper, fennel and a bit of chilli. I then move the cheeks to the curing chamber to cure slowly over time and with good care, then I hot smoke them slowly in oak surrounds with manuka wood, the whole process taking a few weeks before the guanciale is ready.
porchetta: the Umbrian tradition of roasting whole or partial pigs after massaging and marinating them with a secret recipe of herbs, garlic, and Italian Pinot Grigio. Leave it all to marinate overnight in the coolroom then roast it in a seriously hot
oven for a short time followed by a long slow basting time. Great hot or cold, sliced fine or in slabs or sold in a panino. Especially good with Saucy Plum Sauce. Porchetta is not in the piggy category of salumi at all though it looks so good, tastes so fine and has a great following that I had to include it here!