Brace Yourselves - Winter Is Coming
Forecasts for Melbourne daytime temperatures routinely reaching the low teens are fast approaching. From the end of May & through June, ideal conditions will prevail for preparing salumi for dry aging over the rest of winter. The safest temperature for curing meats is under 14°C, ideally 10-12°C, with 75% relative humidity. If you can find a place with low airflow & stable ambient temperatures & humidity, you can be curing your own delicacies at home. Winter is also a great time to make cheese, and is the best time to brew beer. You can warm yourself over a hot mash tun or kettle, while brewing the perfect winter-weight dark ale, or make a lager in the ambient temperature of your shed or garage.
Cured Meats & Salami
There are so many cured meats you can turn your hand to. Here are a few examples:
Pancetta, or Italian bacon, is made from pork belly, cured & spiced with black pepper or other spices. Capicola AKA capicollo or capocollo (capo means head & collo means neck, in Italian) is a whole muscle cured meat similar to prosciutto, made from pork neck & shoulder. It could be described as the pork counterpart of the air-dried, cured beef bresola. It has been enjoyed in Calabria for millennia. Guanciale is prepare using pork cheek or jowl, & is a speciality of central Italian Umbria & Lazio. Rubbed down with salt, sugar & spices, it is cured over three weeks, or until it loses around a third of its original weight. Guanciale is then enjoyed in traditional pasta dished like carbonara & sauces such as amatriciana.
Then there are all the salami varieties. For instance, cacciatore is named for the hunters who would carry this versatile salami in their packs for ready sustenance on the run. Often highly spiced & containing around 30% rich fat, usually pork, & meats including pork, beef or game meats like venison & wild boar, cacciatore remains delicious & moist, curing readily over just a few weeks due to its smaller thickness & length. Soppressata di Calabria is intensely flavoured & very aromatic, & can be sweet or spicy, depending on the type of pepper & other spices used.
We have everything you need to get you started. Find our full range of natural hog & collagen casings here. Our herb & spice range is heavily discounted - a full 20% off all bulk spices while stocks last. For these & our range of coarse, fine & flossy sea salt click here. Salami Kits include Mild and Hot Italian, Hungarian Salami, Spicy Chorizo, Garlic Lovers and Hot Continental. All your equipment needs are looked after, too, with a range of Fabio Leonardi heavy duty powered mincers, manual mincers & fillers.
Salami and Cured Meat Workshops are offered at Clayton & Reservoir shops, & cover basics in food safety & hygiene, meat selection, boning & preparation, equipment use, casing prep, preserving techniques & troubleshooting, hanging techniques, preserving & curing with & without drying rooms, as well as showcasing homemade salami equipment kits & various salami recipe kits. A batch of small goods is made on the evening, and attendees will leave with a Salami Recipe Kit. For details and bookings, click here.
Mmmm... cheese! Home Make It stocks Epicurean Cheese Kits for making your favourite cheses, including Mozzarella & Ricotta, Camembert & Blue Cheese, & Greek Feta. You will find a variety of hoops & moulds, coating waxes, muslin cloth, basic cheese press, & draining mats, as well as cultures, rennet & other ingredients. If you want to make your own cheese, make a good start by clicking here.
Winter is a great time to enjoy dark beers like porter & stout, with their rich malty taste and fuller body. Dark grains add roasty, coffee & chocolate flavours as well as colour, & dark beers are often higher in alcohol than crisp, summery lagers & pale ales, to help warm the soul. Of course, now is also the time to brew lagers, taking advantage of lower ambient temperatures, & the willingness of lager yeasts to ferment at those temperatures. Lagers were traditionally allowed to cellar for 6 months or more for a cleaner, clearer beer. Make one now, and it will be perfect come the warmer days of November.
The following recipe provides a basic introduction to a personal favourite at this time of year. Oatmeal stouts use a portion of flaked or rolled oats to boost their rounded & silky mouthfeel. Historically offered to nursing mothers as a nutritional tonic, it's probably best now to nurse an oatmeal stout next to a warm fire. This one comes out a nice dark chocolate brown rather than the midnight black you'd associate with Guinness, Sheaf's or Invalid Stout.
Oaty McOatface Oatmeal Stout
For a 23L batch:
2.3kg Viking Pale Malt
450g Viking Munich Malt
450g Viking Cookie Malt
450g Viking Chocolate Malt
450g flaked or rolled oats - "instant" oats will do!
200g Viking Crystal 150L
200g Viking Roast Barley
Mash high at 68°C for 60 minutes. Mash out, & lauter or remove your BIAB grains.
Then proceed to a 60 minute boil.
40g East Kent Goldings or Fuggles Hop pellets (full 60 minute boil, or try First Wort Hopping for more bitterness & a little more hop flavour). You can add another 30g at flameout if hops float your boat.
Chill or allow to cool to a pitching temperature in the low 20s before adding the yeast.
1 packet of Morgan's Premium Ale Yeast (15g), or Morgan's English Ale Yeast (15g) if you prefer some fruity esters.
Ferment at 18°C - or thereabouts - for three to five days before allowing the temperature to free rise.
After two days of successive stable gravity readings, bottle or keg. Stouts will always benefit from a little patience before drinking, to allow the flavours to integrate more successfully.
The next Intro to All Grain Brewing course at Clayton is scheduled for Saturday June 2nd 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm, with a few remaining spots still open. Learn how to make great homemade beer from scratch & impress your family & friends! Click here for details.
Darebin Homemade Food & Wine Festival
Running from the 26th of May to the 3rd of June, the Darebin Homemade Food & Wine Festival features more than 35 different events including dinners, seminars & hands-on workshops. Home Make It is proud to be associated with this celebration of the importance of food in our community, & the traditions & sustainable food practices of the culturally rich residents of Melbourne’s inner north.
Meet the Makers & Homemade Marketplace
Saturday, 26th of May will see Northcote Town Hall transformed into a bustling market with range of locally made food & produce, information stalls, coffee, music & more. Free demonstrations include cooking Thai street food, raspberry wine making, spätzle & salami.
As part of the festival, Home Make It Reservoir will be hosting the following in-store workshops:
Introduction to Home Winemaking Hosted by Home Make It
There is no other more discussed beverage than wine. It is something best made with the greatest of care. Your host Stephan will guide you through the process of home winemaking, covering all the most important moments of the process including selecting good quality grapes, fermenting, maturity & more. Tuesday 29 May, 6 -7pm at Home Make It, 265 Spring Street, Reservoir.
Tickets $10. Click to book.
Introduction to Homebrewing Hosted by Home Make It
Our brewer, Dean, will guide you through a simple home brew. He will demystify the process & talk about the many ways you can brew your own beer. The workshop will cover the basic processes of a partial mash brew, ingredients & the hardware needed, proving that this most ancient of arts is a hobby well worth taking up. Wednesday 30 May, 6 – 7pm at Home Make It, 265 Spring Street, Reservoir. Tickets $10. Click to book.
Click on our sale banner below for this week's Specials: