Award-winning chef Charles Wekselbaum has written an entry-level guide to the dry-curing process for those who want to try it at home. In Cured (Sterling Epicure, 2016) which was inspired by flavors from Asia to Italy, you can learn the basics of curing salami, prosciutto, salmon, tuna, or even vegan options including cucumber and figs. Construct your own drying and fermentation chamber, arrange a charcuterie board, and learn some delicious drink pairings for the finished product.
You can purchase this book from the Mother Earth Living store: Cured.
“Potaje” is a general term that refers to any hearty, soupy stew with beans, vegetables, and meats. It’s a “kitchen sink” soup, an ideal meal in winter, and a great way to make a big pot of something that’s got plenty of nourishment and can last for days. Its variations are only as limited as your imagination — this version includes three kinds of beans, dry-cured chorizo, stewed meats, hearty greens, and fresh sausage.
Potaje: Hearty Stew with Chorizo
• 1/2 cup (118 ml) chickpeas
• 1/2 cup (118 ml) white beans
• 1/2 cup (118 ml) black beans
• Salt to taste (at least 2 tablespoons [30 ml])
• 1/2 lb (227 g) pork shoulder
• 1 lb (454 g) beef short ribs, bone on
• 1/2 lb (227 g) pork belly, cut into 1" (2.5 cm) cubes
• 1/2 cup (118 ml) rum
• 1 quart (0.95 l) chicken stock
• 1/2 cup (118 ml) pureed tomatoes
• 1 bottle Pilsner beer
• 1 onion, sliced
• 4 cloves garlic, chopped
• 1 bay leaf
• 12 oz (340 g) dry-cured chorizo, halved lengthwise, and cut into 3/4" (2 cm) pieces
• 1 bunch collard greens
• 1 bell pepper, diced
• 1/2 lemon
Heavy-bottomed skillet or pan Stockpot
1. Soak the beans overnight in salted water.
2. Sprinkle salt over the pork shoulder, short ribs, and pork belly, and brown in a heavy-bottomed skillet or pan until well-browned.
3. Deglaze the pan with the rum, making sure to scrape off all the bits from the bottom of the pan.
4. Add the stock, tomatoes, and beer, and turn the flame to low.
5. Drain the beans and set aside.
6. Use your stockpot to saute the onions, bell pepper, garlic, bay leaf, and pork belly. When the onions are tender and browning, add the drained beans and the chorizo and let the mixture cook for 5 minutes on medium heat, giving it 2 or 3 stirs during those 5 minutes.
7. Then add the stock and beer and stir well, incorporating any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. Make sure all the meats are covered in liquid. Add water, if necessary.
8. Bring to a boil, cover, and lower to a simmer for at least 2 hours. The longer you let it cook, the more flavorful it will be.
9. Taste and add salt, if desired.
10. Five minutes before serving, add the collard greens to the pot. Cook until just tender, making sure greens maintain their bright-green color. Serve with a squeeze of lemon.
Pair with a medium-bodied red, such as Syrah or Primitivo.
More from Cured:
Reprinted with permission from Cured © 2016 by Charles Wekselbaum, Sterling Epicure, an imprint of Sterling Publishing Co., Inc. Photography by Sterling Publishing. Buy this book from our store: Cured.