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22 responses to “My Charcuterie Library”

  1. Chris

    I have Charcuterie by Rulhman/Polcyn and River Cottage, and I love both books.
    Thanks for the other recommendations.
    So far my progression mirrors you suggestion.
    Good stuff.

  2. Carolina Rig

    I have very limited charcuterie experience…specifically limited to a couple pates, goose jerky, and venison/feral pig fresh sausages. I recently purchased Ruhlman & Polcyn’s and Rytek Kutas books. I’m half way thru both, and this past weekend made Ruhlman’s fresh garlic sausage with some feral pig…outstanding! Hank’s description of both books are spot on and I’ll second his recommendations.

  3. ntsc

    I’m looking to get this one: The Professional Charcuterie Series: 2 Volume Set, by Marcel Cottenceau, Jean-Francois Deport and Jean-Pierre Odeau. Pardus (via DelGrosso) recomends it highly. The set is very expensive as mentioned. I do hope to get it someday.

    Is there a reason you have left out Bruce Aidells’s body of work?

    There are only two of us to eat sausage here and so far “Charcuterie” has done all that is needed. Pate can be found all over the place, with the Time Life Series book, Terrines, Pates and Galantines being excellent and what got me started in about 82. The Terrine that is the frontpiece of my blog is from that.

    There is also Home Sausage Making by Peery and Reavis and I’ve no opinon yet.

    I will be ordering the Kutas book. I’ve been put off because hardware on the is so overprieced, one can generally find the same item in a resturant supply house for half or less.

    And Garde Manger from CIA is also good (it is the CIA text on the subject), but is $70 as I recall.

  4. darlene

    Thank you for the useful information. I have Ruhlman’s Charcuterie and love it. I do the simple cured preps, with pancetta being the longest cure I’ve done but feel like I’m ready to move on to more advanced preps. I will take a look at the Marianski book.

  5. Andrew

    Thanks for this list-I have Charcuterie (Ruhlman and Polcyn) and make fresh sausage regularly. I have dry cured jowls, but I think I’ll wait until I get the art of making fermented sausage to take on that challenge.

  6. John Jezl

    Hank – Charcuterie – I’m right there with you. I’ve heard one or two criticisms that it was not “complete”. My response… “So what?” It’s a amazing book to get you started. I’m actually in the process for doing all the recipes in the book… my pancetta turned out /excellent/!

    Thank you for the nice concise list. I have a few of them, but will add the rest to my wish list… the Marianski book in particular.

    NTSC – I heard the same thing about Garde Manger from CIA. Thanks for reaffirming and additional suggestions.

  7. Larbo

    Your list mirrors my library own and mentions a couple books I hadn’t heard of, so many thanks for that!

    Looked into Cottenceau’s Professional Charcuterie Series, and from what I read, the English translation does not include a volume that was in the French series, dedicated to seafood sausages. Is that correct? If so, too bad, because I can’t find a complete French edition anywhere.

  8. ntsc

    I’ve two hams hanging from the joists in the basement wrapped in cheesecloth. One will hang in a wine cooler for about another year starting some time in May. The other until we need it.

    These are the third and forth hams I’ve done all by the Charcuterie method. I’ve had luck with my fermented sausage from the book but the sausscion sec was a failure. However I think that was my fault.

  9. hank

    Larbo: Yep, apparently the seafood sausages volume was not translated. Can’t say it was a great loss. The Cottenceau book I own does have several seafood sausage recipes, however…

  10. Spencer

    This is a great source to get some good cooking ideas. I think the hardest part of my mom letting us go hunting is that she doesn’t know how to cook the game when we get back. great job.

  11. ntsc

    Just posted a link to this post from my blog. Saw no need to list Charcuterie books when you did such a good job of it for me.

  12. JJ

    My charcuterie library is almost identical to yours, and I share most of your opinions.

    For those looking for The Professional Charcuterie Series vol 1+2, the cheapest place I’ve seen them is Kitchen Letters and Arts in NYC. They’re currently $89 each there, and they’ll ship anywhere on Earth.

    I have one big reservation about the CIA Garde Manger book… it’s by the same Sonnenschmidt that wrote the awful ‘Charcuterie: Sausages, Pates and Accompaniments’.

    Also not recommended are Reynaud’s ‘Pork and Sons’ and ‘Terrine’, which are very pretty books but also pretty useless; they have little information and recipes that don’t work.

  13. Chef John J. Goddard

    Great post, Hank. Just found your blog while scanning around for kolbasz recipes. Holler if you ever hit Portland, we’ll grab izakaya at Tanuki.

    Does anyone else see Ruhlman’s francocentricism as narrow? I find it tiresome.

  14. Steve Mirsky

    And there’s so many people out there who think cured meats are limited to salami, bologna, and other lunch meats. Such a comprehensive list of books!

  15. tom kief


    I traveled to Brazil in April and ate carne seca in a dish called feijoada. I have not been able to find a recipe for this cured beef. I am a chef and teach at the Culinary Institute of America in Hyde Park. I have taught Garde Manger and am familiar with curing and sausage making. This type of carne seca is different than the Mexican versions. It is usually a 8-10 lb. piece of top round of beef that is dry cured with salt and TCM for 2-3 weeks.

    Do you have any information or a recipe that I can use? Or do you know of any books that would have a recipe for it? Thanks.

    Tom Kief

  16. Homemade Sausages | Food With Legs

    […] If you come from a sausage-making tradition and have been participating in multi-generational sausage parties for years you probably don’t need to hear much more from me on the matter–except perhaps that pork shoulder is on sale and can be had for as little as seventy-nine cents a pound in some places–otherwise some research is in order.  Online, the best place to start is a remarkable website called Hunter Angler Gardener Cook created by a gentleman named Hank Shaw.  Don’t be intimidated by the fact that most of the sausages he makes feature deer, bear, and squirrel–the process is the same for grocery store pork.  He wrote this dead-simple guide to making sausages on Simply Recipes, an advanced guide on his own site, and for those who prefer books here is his sausage and charcuterie library. […]

  17. paul

    For more Italian recipes, I would recommend “Preserving the Italian Way” by Pietro Demaio. I bought it in Italy for less than $20. I saw it in multiple shops there. Unfortunately, It doesn’t appear to be available here, so it’s a bit pricey at $65 with shipping.

  18. wesley dabney

    if you are a novice, michael ruhlman’s book is not the place to start. he leaves out too many details and you’ll end up wasting a lot of time and meat.

  19. Linda

    I almost posted a question about the best Charcuterie books on the Charcutepalooza Facebook page, and here you’ve provided a list well worth having. I always tell people that sausage is my “junk food,” meaning I could eat too much of it all the time. So I joined Charcutepalooza to fulfill that desire. Now that I’ve spent a year “learning” about charcuterie, I realize that I have a new passion for cured meats. The flavor, obviously, is so much better than anything in the grocery store, plus I live in a place where much fresh meat of all kinds is available. Even though Charcutepalooza is coming to a close, I intend to continue this focus on cured meats. I found your list at such an appropriate time!

  20. Aaron

    Love the Book, I would recommend however that you include a book by Francois Vecchio on your list of books for required reading in the world of Charcuterie. As a student of Francois, I can say that his wisdom and knowledge are beyond richness, and as a Swiss Born 5th generation butcher, his legacy as an American Charcutiere needs to be shared with as many people as possible. Though we can say the world of cured meats is growing within the United States, it’s important to recognize the traditions that have existed along with the skill as well associated. His book is called Salumi, and I think he’s got another one in the works.

    Just a thought! Thanks for this amazing contribution to our library!

  21. David

    Great list of books, thanks for this.

    To satisfy your Italian cravings, Ruhlmann and Polcyn brought out a successor to Charcuterie: Salumi: The Craft of Italian Dry Curing.

    And if anybody is in the UK and looking to get into charcuterie, I can thoroughly recommend River Cottages “Pig in a day” and “Meat Curing and Smoking” courses. Steve Lamb is very passionate, very knowledgeable and has a wonderful teaching style which will make you want to start as soon as you get home.

    Finally, River Cottage also publishes Steve’s book, Curing and Smoking. This is an excellent beginner’s book and also includes a number of Italian recipes, as well as other countries.

  22. Myles Mudge

    I just purchased Ruhlman’s Charcuterie along with “Home production of quality meats and sausages” by Stanley Marianski. Has anyone used that Marianski book, the reviews on Amazon were very good. I also purchased “The artisan Jewish deli at home” which isn’t exactly a charcuterie book but should have some useful stuff in it. I’ll let you know what I think of the books once I’ve put them into use for awhile.

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