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Thursday, 30 April 2015

Charcuterie Special No 1. French saucisson sec with herbes de Provence

Many of my blog readers would recognise that I have a particular passion for charcuterie and cured meats and there is so much to learn about the subject that I have decided to start a regular slot on this blog called Charcuterie Special. Writing about a particular meat or style will be as much of an exciting learning curve for me as I hope it will be for my followers. At the moment I am quite a novice on the subject and so the blog posts will be short and interesting. My many years in the butchery trade will help I guess. So that others can try the meats too I will be including where it was sourced. Presently this will most likely be a UK supermarket but we will see where this mini adventure takes me. Enjoy.

French saucisson sec with herbes de Provence.

Source: Waitrose

The pack from Waitrose contained fourteen slices made from pigs from assured farms in France. It is described as a medium coarse French pork salami, cured, dried and coated with herbs.

The taste was a wetter taste than the truly dry saucisson sec in a ring that I have previously enjoyed on my rips to France and also purchased at Waitrose in Newark. The herbs coating the slices are a surprisingly complex mix of rosemary, thyme, basil, marjoram, parsley, chervil, savoury, lovage and oregano. Within the meat curing there are a short list of chemical agents and more natural flavourings such as black pepper, garlic, paprika and nutmeg. Given all these I found the meat delicately tasty but not as personally moreish as ring version. These have almost a salty nutty flavour and a dry papery skin which needs to be removed before eating.

It made a nice accompaniment to some fresh tomatoes, fresh basil leaves and mozzarella cheese. Being a bit of a glutton I ate most of these slices in one sitting.

Saucisson sec is traditionally known as a dry cured sausage rather like Italian Salami. The pork comes from the fattier neck and shoulder muscles which is cut up, minced (ground up) and comminuted (reduced to small fragments) with seasoning and spices. The spices are usually fresh garlic, black peppercorns and chunky sea salt. A typical ring would be hand tied and cured for thirty days.

Check out one of my older blog posts for more about my passions for cured meats.

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