December Cooking Challenge 2019 -- Cured Meats

Joined Oct 9, 2008
As the winter set in and the days got shorter, many of our ancestors were finishing up (or had finished) laying in stocks for the long, cold months. And around the world, people found clever ways to preserve their harvests, including some truly amazing ways to preserve meats.

December 2019’s Challenge Is… Cured Meat!

Sausage, ham, rillettes, pâté, terrine, gravlax—call it what you will. Any kind of meat (including fish) is acceptable. You may cure your own, or you may showcase someone else’s curing work in your final preparation. I realize that you probably can’t both cure and serve in one month, unless it’s something very small, so some leeway is allowed for those who cure.

Meats may be dry-cured or wet, smoked or not, ground, stuffed, sliced, you name it.

Final entries will gain points in part based on showing us what you did, whether that’s a curing process or one of transforming a cured product into a final, plated dish (or both).

And don’t be shy: a really well-executed sausage-on-a-bun is a thing of beauty!

The Rules
  • The challenge begins on the 1st of every month. The last entry must be made by the last day of the month.
  • You may post multiple entries.
  • All entries must be cooked during the month of the challenge.
  • If you use a documented recipe, please cite your source.
  • Entries should include the name of your dish and a picture of the final product. Sharing personal recipes and pictures of the process are not mandatory but extremely helpful.
  • The winner is chosen by the person who posted the challenge, and is announced after the last day of submissions. The decision is final and falls entirely at the discretion of the challenger.
  • Submitting an entry makes you eligible to win. If you do not wish to be considered for the win you may still participate in the challenge, but make your wishes known to the challenger.
  • The winner’s bounty includes praise, virtual high-fives, and the responsibility of posting the next month’s challenge. That entails choosing a theme, posting a Challenge thread that includes the guidelines, checking in on the submissions regularly during the month, and promptly choosing a winner at the end of the challenge.
Joined Jan 8, 2010
I'll have to put on my thinking cap for this one.
I'm in the process of breaking up/moving my place, so most of my stuff is packed or being packed, but I think I still have a gammon (bought) and a piece of szechuan streaky bacon (home cured) in the freezer.
I should be able to do something ;)
Joined Oct 9, 2008
a piece of szechuan streaky bacon (home cured) in the freezer. ;)
I'm drooling already. Three things to love: (1) Home-cured (2) Sichuan (3) streaky bacon. I really hope you find the time to make something with that, because I want to see it (and imagine eating it)!
Joined Sep 5, 2008
Hmmm I already ate all the sausages, saucissons, caillettes and boudin I made from my own pigs.


Still have a bag of the sheep sausage I made earlier this year (a friend of mine had bought sheep to handle the lawn mowing duties on the land he'd borrowed for his organic chicken farm and later gave up so we turned all the sheep into sausage).

I have more photos I could share but I'm worried they may be a bit too gory for a food forum. :oops:

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Joined Nov 5, 2007
Nice! I feel bad that I did not do anything for the last challenge, hope to get something in for this one.

Joined Apr 25, 2017
FF - nice pictures! People should know and understand where their food really comes from. That view, mixer, and set up are drool worthy.

We just bought pork chops from a farmer up the road because we are out of our own. I think we still have some ground pork to make sausages though, I need to check.
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Joined Oct 9, 2008
I absolutely agree, fatcook fatcook : people should know where their food comes from and be ethically comfortable with the procedures, even if they don't do it themselves. That's actually one of the reasons I like this challenge: if you're at all serious about cured meat, even if you just eat it, you pretty much have to know where it comes from. And if you cure it yourself, you're going to be something of an expert!
Joined Jul 13, 2012
I've been putting off making sausage long enough. It looks like I'll have to bit the bullet this month. I have goose breast and venison in the freezer. When pork shoulder goes on sale I'll make a batch of kielbasa.

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