While there are endless options for flexing your culinary muscles, making your own dry cured meats is one of the best ways of calling out those hacks on Iron Chef that we can think of. Using the secret ingredient? Try making it b$^&*$#s. Authors Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn know a thing or two about meats, as the authors of their previous book Charcuterie, which was a culinary success. Polcyn’s even a professor of charcuterie at SchoolCraft College in Livonia, Michigan (note to self, get that job).
Their latest foray on the subject Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing ($27) is filled with 100 recipes and illustrations covering the fundamental basics of Italy’s top pork products like guanciale, coppa, spalla, lardo, lonza, pancetta, prosciutto, and salami. There’s also a breakdown on butchering a hog in the Italian and American ways. If your mouth waters at just the thought of any of these delicious meat snacks be sure to pick up a copy. Just don’t bring any over to your “Nonna’s” house she might get jealous.