During or before service?

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Joined Nov 17, 2017
Ahoy, I'm originally a pizzaiolo, not a chef, but since I will be opening a pizzeria soon, and would like to feature dishes other than pizza itself (antipasti mainly), I've stumbled across a few concerns that I would really appreciate your thoughts on.
Lots of the antipasti I'll be serving features good quality prosciutto crudo (d.p or s.d) and table cheeses (such as pecorino toscano). What I'm wondering is, if these mentioned above should be sliced before or during service (I've got a slicing machine). Also, should semi-hard cheeses be sliced by hand? And finally, if I do slice these during service, how should I preserve them fro drying out over a course of 10-11 hours? Pulling out an entire leg of prosciutto from the fridge every single time I want to slice up a few grams of it seems time consuming to me, same for cheese.
I would really appreciate your input. Thank you in advance.
 

kuan

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Where do you live? If you live close to an Italian meats shop you should go and see how they slice it. Always perfect slices, separated with paper.

As to the original question, it depends. If you have a higher volume you can slice them ahead, not really 10 hours ahead, but just a little bit ahead and portion them. It really isn't that-much-work. Move your hands fast, wrap fast, and in general, move fast. There are places where every beef portion is cut when ordered. If they can unwrap, cut, wrap, clean, season, grill, so can you.
 
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Joined Jan 17, 2015
If you can slice for order as then is the best. If you can't don't slice too much, in between some greaseproof paper in the container than damp jay clootth loose on top. Try and not have too much left over at the end of the shift as fridge will dry stuff out
 
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Joined Aug 15, 2003
If you had a vacuum seal machine you could portion then vac seal. I'd imagine you don't have one though...

Yes, slicing to order is best. Most places don't or can't do that.

Your cheese will hold up better being pre-sliced and stored properly. No reason not to do it on the slicer, just don't cross contaminate obviously. The slicer will help with portion control as well.
 
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Joined Nov 17, 2017
Thanks a lot for the replies. I'll look up the technique in a meats shop nearby as you advised, will do my best to slice prosciutto to order. Regarding the cheese, what would be the best way to store it pre sliced? Cheers.
 

pete

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If your set up or labor constraints don't allow for slicing to order, this is what I would do. First, slice only what you think you will need for the night. Slice the prosciutto and place enough for 1 order on a piece of parchment paper. Stack 3-4 orders worth (with the parchment between the orders) and wrap tightly in plastic. This way you only have a couple of orders, at time, exposed to air for any length of time. If you have leftovers from the night they should be good for the next day's service, if you keep it tightly wrapped. Of course, best is cutting to order, but that often is not possible in most of today's restaurants.
 
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Joined Nov 2, 2015
Thanks a lot for the replies. I'll look up the technique in a meats shop nearby as you advised, will do my best to slice prosciutto to order. Regarding the cheese, what would be the best way to store it pre sliced? Cheers.

You should invest in a vacuum sealer. Great for all storage.
 

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