We spent a few years tweaking these meat projects with our meat club entourage until we felt they were dialed in and ready to hand off to others to make. Here's a little more info behind the projects...
We provide a meat project for every month of the year, so now you have no excuses to not bring all your buddies together for a meatathon once every month.
We also provide a recipe to accompany or make using your meat project. You can be known as a badass around the barbecue on game day, when you throw your homemade Kielbasa on the fire. But when you make a homemade Choucroute using that same Kielbasa for the missus, you'll find it's pretty awesome to be a hero on multiple fronts.
Each of the meat projects in this book are scaled so that each group member will take about 2 ½ pounds of meat home with them. We did, however, have to alter the Bacon recipe to ensure peeps would each take home 5 pounds of smoked pork belly, because a fridge without Bacon is a sad, sad kitchen appliance.
Feel free to double or halve the recipes, depending on how many people are attending your meat club, and how carnivorous you and your family are feeling at the time.
In each of the sausage recipes, we include steps for grinding the meat. We want to encourage every meat clubber to get closer to the farmer, closer to the butcher - closer to the source. Once you start grinding your own meat, you may find yourself growing your beard out, donning suspenders, pricing whole animals and eyeing rooms in your house that could be converted into walk-in coolers.
That being said, you can certainly cut down the amount of time spent in your meat club if you skip the step to grind your own meat and just buy pre-ground meat straight from your butcher. You might save 30 minutes of time. Are 30 minutes worth the loss of your manly image? We'll let you be the judge of that.
If you do ask the butcher to grind the pork shoulder for you, make sure you ask them to keep the fat on as well. Some butchers trim the fat just before grinding the meat, but you'll want to ensure that you have around an 80% muscle to 20% fat ratio. After all, most of the deliciousness comes from the fatty parts of the piggy.