|Underground Meat's Saucisson Sec, Pepperoni, spreadable Nduja, and Peppercorn Sec|
|Goat Salami drying|
|Tamworth Hams on an enormous Boos Block table|
|Spicy Nduja stuffed into beef middles|
With the amount of work involved, I couldn't believe these guys weren't totally burned out and just said, "screw it, let's just make 5 lb bulk salami for deli slicers!" But despite the enormous job ahead of us, the Underground crew still made sure each link was as close to perfect as possible. During the hours of work involved in that task, two of the twine links slipped out of their knots and a string of four salami fell on the floor, earning them a place in the trash. I'm going to pin the blame on myself, as the guy I worked with, Tim, could spot a poor knot or an oversized twist on the spot. All I could think of was, "there goes all that work, into the trash." I hadn't been there for the cutting and boning of the goats, but I heard it's a big job, as goats are bonier than pigs, requiring more knifework to free up the meat from the bones and fat (the fat can be gamey and waxy, so it's removed). After that second link slipped loose, each of my knots was pulled tight enough to make my fingers hurt. To do this as a living takes serious dedication to your craft.
|Coppa and Prosciutto Curing|
I came back from the trip incredibly energized, and while I could write on and on, I'll wrap this up here. I'm confident you'll see references to Undergound Meats in upcoming posts as I work in their techniques. Otherwise, hopefully you'll be able to find them in specialty food shops soon, as they achieve their goal of national certification.