The meat cure

Brad Cecchi, sous chef at Grange, makes the charcuterie for all of The Citizen Hotel’s menus. He practices old-school techniques that are becoming popular again. I asked him about his love of cured meat.

“I think that charcuterie is coming back with interest in sustainability and farmers’ markets. It offers you the opportunity to cheat nature by postponing the decay of meat. I gravitate toward the old style of cooking in general.

“We get whole pigs here about twice a month, and we can make real coppa out of the neck meat. We’re getting ready to roll out a sampler plate with fresh goat, duck and andouille sausages.

Heritage pork has become popular again, and restaurants need to utilize whole animals. Bacon is a really easy way to cure meat. It’s a whole belly, and you just need the right ratio of curing salts and then you smoke it.”