uses for speck?
My wine club gave out speck this month with our wines. I have only ever had it in a chartucherie plate and wonder if anyone has any interesting thoughts about cooking with it. I suppose I could sub it for bacon or pancetta but does anyone have any better ideas or flavors it would pair nicely with? thanks!
You'll often find it in northern Italy - being used where, a bit further south, you'd find Palma ham in the dish.
Speck is smoked dry-cured ham, similar to U.S. country ham, but I believe it has juniper and other spices (nutmeg?) in the dry cure. It is ideal in a cream-based sauce for fresh pasta with dried or shitake mushrooms.
Thinly sliced and layered into a Spanish potato omelette ("tortilla") or diced into a spaghetti frittata would be other ways to use.
I have been smuggling it out of Germany and Austria (or having friends do so) for years b/c I love it and it's so cheap there. Many years ago, while living there (on a tight budget), I used it all the time to make carbonara, and I still do sometimes. But I use it in many things. I especially love cooking it with green beans, lima beans, crowder peas, or with cabbage, or to flavor dandelion greens. It's great to add another flavor dimension to pasta or risotto with shrimp or asparagus or mushrooms. Throw some into a warm potato salad, or on top of a pan-roasted fish. Saute some in oil before browning a pot roast--or brussels sprouts. It's fantastic mixed with minced wild mushrooms, garlic,grated parmesan, and parsley for a bruschetta topping.
And, yes, it subs well for bacon (even better than bacon, I daresay) or pancetta. Very versatile stuff. I love it.