Making charcuterie is an art, and the best meat artists in town can be found at J.M. Stock Provisions. “You have to receive the animal, break it down, use just the right balance of fat and lean, get the perfect matrix of textures, and chop, grind, and cook for hours,” says Alex Import, general manager. “A chef might say, ‘Why do all that when you can buy it from someone else?’ There’s nothing wrong with that mentality.” Likewise, there’s nothing wrong with JM Stock’s smoky, salty meats.
CLOCKWISE FROM TOP LEFT
Three parts lean beef, one part fatty pork. Coarse, medium, and fine grinds. “You have to add the meat very carefully to keep your textures somewhat separate,” Import says. “That variation, and the flecks of pork fat, are what make this look pretty.” Seasoned with coriander, black pepper, and a “secret” mix of chilis, then hickory-smoked.
Pork from the hind leg, brined for five to 10 days in water with salt, sugar, coriander, mustard seed, black peppercorns, bay laurel, and chilis, then hickory-smoked. “We leave on the thick pork cap,” Import says. “It melts in your mouth, and if you make a panini with it, the flavor really stands out.”
The masterpiece of the meat case. Lean pork ground several times, then mixed with ice to promote emulsification and a “pillowy texture.” Chunks of blanched pork-jowl fat, pistachios, garlic, mace, coriander, and other spices are added before the mixture is encased in a natural beef skin. Finished by lengthy poaching at low temperature.
An “import” to JM Stock made by Edwards Virginia Smokehouse, in Surry, Virginia. Heritage pork cuts are hand-rubbed with a proprietary mix of ingredients, hickory-smoked for seven days, and aged for more than 400 days. Sliced paper thin. Delicious with blanched asparagus or sweet melon.
Paté de campagna
Import calls it “fancy meatloaf.” No bread or flour added, so it’s gluten free. Fat and lean pork hand-chopped with offal (jowl, heart, liver). Seasoned with black pepper, dried ginger, mace, nutmeg, clove, and coriander. Super-rich. Good on its own or with crostini, cornichons, and coarse mustard.
J.M. Stock Provisions, 709 W. Main St, 244-2480, stockprovisions.com
Import says that JM Stock’s charcuterie wouldn’t be nearly as good if it weren’t made from Patterson’s Register Berkshires, heritage hogs from Autumn Olive Farms, near Waynesboro. autumnolivefarms.com