My theory is the best things that you find while shopping are the things you spot while you look for what you are actually shopping. I was at Butcher & Larder last week picking up bratwurst buying provisions when I spotted a small plate in the case holding hunks of beef neck with a sign comparing them to oxtails. Being a huge oxtail fan (at least I was before they took the short rib train to overpriced town), they immediately caught my attention and, after having fallen in love with necks by braising a lamb neck and encasing sausage with a duck neck, my interest was piqued. Yes, I know about the term “impulse buy”, I am the king of the impulse buy, but I am rarely disappointed with my impulse buys. Continue reading
‘Tis the season. It is week three of the NFL season and while the artisanal or slow food movement folks overlap with professional football fans in very few cases, the tailgates of many fans are loaded with sausages and other cured meats finer than many restaurants serving either. The Green Bay Packers are my team, and have been the duration of my existence, and Packer fans take special pride our food.
As an astute reader may have noticed, towards the end of last season, I posted good luck pictures of Green Chile Cheese Curd Bratwursts and they were damned good. With the biggest game of the season so far against the rival Bears, I knew that I wanted that luck on my side again, but I also knew that, at any point this week, Butcher Rob would be pulled from his scabbard to attend to major life events and I may be left bratless. The easiest remedy would be to make my own version of those bratwurst. Continue reading
Condiments, chicken, lamb, and now fish again? Where is the pork, you ask? There will be pork, I promise you. It is on the way and in the works, but as summer is ending, I wanted to squeeze the very last of the brightness of the summer.
With the herb garden starting to wind up, I had handfuls of herbs, and the end of summer visits to Chicago in the books, I had leftover Scotch. I am not a Scotch drinker, rather a bourbon man, but as a dutiful host, I had a bottle (and a nice one at that) that was about half empty. In earlier incarnations of cured salmon, I used other, perhaps less drinkable, liquors, but using Scotch as a cure may be my favorite use for the stuff. Continue reading
Labor Day, for me, used to mean a day off of work and one of the last BBQ days of the year, but last year, we were surprised by the very early arrival of our second daughter on the Friday of Labor Day weekend. We spent the weekend and most of the next week in the hospital with her missing BBQ’s, but we knew that we would have a special reason to celebrate Labor Day every year. Now, we know that Labor Day is not always going to fall on the same date, but, for us, the weekend will always be close enough to celebrate the birth of our younger daughter with a BBQ that we missed in 2010. Continue reading