A Visit with Cured DC

Count me lucky because my brother Chris is a jack of all trades. He is a contra-maestro Capoeria teacher, PhD grad of the London School of Economics, father (who’s already provided me great advice AND named his firstborn son after me), and an artisan food maker. To be specific, the man cures meat like its nobody’s business, and as family, I occasionally get the perk of first dibs. Like when he previewed his top-secret lamb prosciutto with me last week. I mean, damn. Lamb prosciutto.

Now, count yourself lucky if you live in the DC area because Cured DC products are now available at Derek Brown’s Mockingbird Hill Sherry and Ham bar, Glen Garden Market (the coolest new local market in Dupont Circle), and direct from Cured DC in a CSA form. For more, go here. And if you’ve got something to trade, maybe I can score you some of Chris’s duck prosciutto on the down low. Its next to impossible to get now that its on Mockingbird Hill’s menu.

 

Cured DC

So my brother has a PhD from the London School of Economics. He works at RAND (that “consultant” to the Pentagon).  Sometimes I think he’s a CIA analyst because he occasionally makes clandestine trips to South America.  …But I ain’t scared. He’s also a passionate conservationist and outspoken defender of the weak and champion for social justice. But then again…he’s incredibly skilled with a knife.

In fact, he’s quite the butcher. After three years of self-training, including apprenticing under Mike Smollon, he’s ready to take the plunge into some serious butchery. He’s joined the culinary incubator at Union Kitchen in DC–already being praised by the press, Mayor’s Office and foodie scene, Union Kitchen promises to take the small army of food artisans in the area and give them a commercial home, launch advice and start-up expertise. Over the past few years I’ve tasted his bresola, guanciale, salumi, duck prosciutto, lardo, chorizo, and aged steaks among other delicacies.

I helped Cured DC move into their new digs over the weekend, after he wired up his new cure box. We had a wonderful lunch at Red Apron over in Union Market afterwards and discussed his future. He plans to offer a CSA-type approach with classic staples, and include limited edition cured meats with a special seasonal items. I can’t wait! For a full post with more pictures head over to Cured DC’s re-tooled blog here.

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And just in case you think he ain’t serious…here are couple of pix I snapped from his “secret stash”.

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That’s right, that’s prosciutto…

Charcuterie DC

Thanksgiving weekend was a whole lot of cooking, shooting and sausage-making with my bro in DC.

Turns out my bro had a little surprise for his wife when she got back from her business-trip last month, a full-size fridge converted into a dry-cure chamber in her den. My little brother has always had a meat-thing. I believe he announced he wanted to own and operate a ranch at age 8. Mind you, we were living in the middle of urban Cleveland at the time. Well, since he hasn’t achieved that (yet), he’s turned to charcuterie, and thank god, cause his chorizo is out of this world.

So far…guanciale, saucisson, chorizo, duck prosciutto, salumi…I believe he’s sending me a “special delivery” quite soon. I’m hoping we can take the butchering class together at Brooklyn Kitchen next month too.

As for me, I’ll stick to my easy-cider brewing. UPDATE** the apple hard cider came out perfectly after a second round of bottle fermentation (added a bit more sugar and charged for 2 extra days). The flavor is crisp and pale, like biting into an apple, just sweet enough and tart, a touch bready at first from the yeast, but it passes. It went well with a shot of bourbon, but easily stood up on its own. My peach cider is sweeter, but not cloying and pleasant…a better mixer I think.

my hard apple cider
lightly sweet hard peach cider