Lots O' Suckling

I guess I should first start by telling you that most of my first attempts at creating sausages, prosciutto, or any cured muscles for that matter have been with left over suckling pig parts that aren't being used by anyone else. You can often times find me walking around with a cart of random animal parts that I have taken from the butcher before he threw them away (one mans scraps is another mans salami).

So, in saying that, the first successful thing that I actually did was, as most of my original attempts were, inspired Grant Van Gameren. If you haven't heard of him or his site, you should definitely check him out.

I took the suckling belly and cured it in a pastrami brine that I got out of my CIA Garde Manger book. Cured them in the brine for 5 days and then allowed them to dry uncovered overnight in the walk-in to form a pellicle. I rubbed them with a black peppercorn-coriander mixture and hot smoked them on a rack on the grill (I was doing it during service... not always an easy task). I then thought instead of braising them I would cryovac them with the tiniest bit of water and cooked them at 82' f for 12 hours. They were a bit salty and I think it was from being cryovac'd, however they were pretty good eaten with other components.

Here is the process from start to finish.

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