After a few months of aging, then a day of smoking over alderwood, followed by a few more months of aging, my Kindziuk was ready to try. A Polish and Lithuanian cured meat, Kindzuik is like a very coarse salami, where whole chunks of beef and pork are stuffed into a casing, cured, smoked, and cured longer. The intensive drying and smoking procedure (and a slightly higher salt content than most salami) makes this a very sturdy cured meat, one that can last a long time.
Having tried a range of French, Spanish, and Italian-style cured meats, this tasted like nothing I've had before. The alderwood added a light smokiness, but nothing as heavy as hickory, oak, or mesquite. The Eastern European spices also added a slightly exotic flavor to the meat. I used marjoram,
mustard seed, caraway, bay, sweet paprika, white pepper, and allspice, which gave the Kindzuik an aroma of warm spices and a deep, savory flavor.
For being so different from anything I've tried in the past, I'm so happy this turned out as well as it did. It gives me a lot of confidence as well, as I had a few major setbacks in dry curing meat (the separating coppa, the overly-hard lamb salami). But I think I'm beginning to develop a solid skill-set in curing meat, and those mistakes were good learning experiences. Now I can't wait for the cold weather to come back so I can try to improve over last year!