9th Ward Daily Photo via rl reeves jr

Pictured: 12lbs of house-cured bacon steaks in the Scrumptious kitchen. A few times a year we make the 850 mile round trip drive to Henry Fudge’s heritage pork hog farm in Madison, Alabama to lay in pork bellies.

It’s worth the trip.

Each one of these bone-in bacon steaks weighs roughly a pound.

9th Ward Daily Photo via rl reeves jr

We cure a lot of meat in our 9th Ward test kitchen. Once or twice a year we take a 900 mile round trip to Madison Alabama to buy a trunkload of heritage Duroc pork from Mr. Henry Fudge, a noted breeder of swine.

Upon return to New Orleans we break out the sodium nitrite and get to work. Pictured is the fruit of some of our efforts. We’ve eaten high level bacon from the best makers on earth and we have yet to eat any as fine as what we produce.

House-made jowl bacon from the charcuterie test kitchen of RL Reeves Jr

For centuries marble miners in the Apuan Alps region of Tuscany have loaded their lunchboxes with fat hunks of bread smeared with lardo di colonnata. The process of creating this relatively obscure bit of charcuterie is simple. Fatback is sliced off a freshly slaughtered hog then rubbed with “salt…garlic…rosemary and sometimes sage, star anise, cloves, or other spices.” After a few months the fat-meat is ready for consumption. Continue Reading

A big Duroc hog enjoys breakfast at Henry Fudge’s farm in Madisonville, Alabama

Would you pay right at $149k a pound for a genuine Kentucky country ham? The biggest ham auction in the USA takes place in Louisville, Kentucky in August each year to kick off the Kentucky State Fair.

Continue Reading

Amsterdam Daily Photo via rl reeves jr

There is a tiny charcuterie workshop on Hoendiepstraat in the Amsterdam Oud Zuid neighborhood. There, at De Pasteibakkerij the tandem of Diny Schouten and Floris Brester are quietly putting out the best cured meats in the Netherlands. We visit once per year to pick up a few kilos of bacon, sausage, terrines and such. The two former journalists are practicing a craft that is largely forgotten in that part of the world.

We filed a full report here.

Etta Cox, Lilly Taylor, Nellie Sullivan. My Great Aunts and My Grandma

Nellie Sullivan grew big vegetable gardens in the Cumberland Highlands of Eastern Kentucky.

Green beans, sweet corn, Irish potatoes, cabbage, squash, tomatoes, sweet onions, and peppers were just some of the vegetables she grew from seed and put up in Mason jars to get her family through the long, cold winters of Appalachia. Continue Reading

Benton’s Country Ham In The Texas Morning Light

Last night we put 10lbs of pork shoulder in a salty, sodium nitrite brine. It only takes 48 hours of wet-curing to turn raw pork into Cajun tasso ham. We’re penning a recipe later this week. The Tasso is our contribution to a wedding party. The couple are getting married on the 10th anniversary of their first date.

And they love ham. Continue Reading