There is nothing more satisfying than eating meat you have cured yourself, whether it is homemade sausages, biltong, your own salami or bacon.  All of these processes are very simple to do on a small scale in the home kitchen.  Over the next few months Wickedfood Cooking School will be looking at a variety of books that are great references for processing at home.  And later in the year, we’ll be running a few courses on how to process your own meat and make your own cheeses.

Not to be confused with salami dry cured sausages, salumi is the Italian word for salted and cured meats. In their book  Salumi: The craft of Italian dry curing, Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn take you on a step-by-step journey through the process of choosing a pig, butchering it and then converting it into delicious, Italian style, dry cured preserves. This book will not only help reconnect you with your food source, it will also provide you with many tasty recipes.

Their first book, Charcuterie inspired a revival of artisanal sausage making and bacon curing. In Salumi they delve deep into the Italian side of the craft, exploring and simplifying recipes and techniques of dry curing meats. Included in the book are 100 recipes and accompanying  illustrations for the eight basic Italian cured pork products –  guanciale, coppa, spalla, lardo, lonza, pancetta, prosciutto, and salami.

The book is divided into five easy-to-follow chapters  – detailed instructions of how to butcher a whole pig, basic why’s and how’s of curing,  recipes for the ‘Big Eight’ Italian dry cured meats, making of more complex salami including whole muscle salami and cooked salumi, and finally, how to cook with and serve salumi.

For anyone seriously interested in the art of Charcuterie, this book, together with Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery are a must.

Interested in buying this book? Visit – Red Pepper Books – The South African online bookshop, is able to offer you great prices on any book you are looking for, and they deliver to your door. Pay only R430 for this book (Recommended Retail Price = R503)! Red Pepper Books is offering Wickedfood Cooking School subscribers an EXTRA 10% off this book. Simply type in the promotional code WICKEDFOOD on the shipping page of the checkout process and your purchase will be reduced by a further 10%, a total saving of R73.

Wickedfood Cooking School runs cooking classes throughout the year at its purpose-built Johannesburg cooking studio. Cookery classes are run in the mornings and evenings 7 days a week (subject to a minimum of 12 people). The venue is also popular for corporate events and private functions – teambuilding cooking classes, birthdays, kitchen teas, and dinner parties with a difference. Our cooking lessons are hands-on, where every person gets to participate in the preparation of the dishes. They are also a lot of fun where you not only learn new skills, but get to meet people with similar interests. For corporate groups and team building cooking classes these events are a novel way of creating staff interaction or entertaining clients. We’ve just launched a new and exciting  class, Wickedfood Master Cook. Think Master Chef with a fun twist.