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"Since our last visit to the Blue Star, then under short-lived chef Daniel Gerson, the kitchen's seen the collaborative command of head chef Andrew Sherrill and sous chefs Mark Henry and Will Merwin," writes food editor Matthew Schniper. "And as boys will, they've been tinkering — lately in the realm of house-made charcuterie, such as a rosemary bourbon venison sausage."
The rest of the review gets into some of the other stuff on the menu, but it's the messing-with-the-meat bit that caught my attention. So I e-mailed around with Merwin and got a little more information on some of the cool stuff going down at the restaurant.
At the Blue Star we have been recently venturing deeper down the rabbit hole of Charcuterie.
Our main outlet is the “Meat Board” featuring three different proteins along with house made pickles and mustards. The three creations differ week from week, but almost always consist of a sausage, a terrine, and a rillette. Sausages are hand blended, cured meats. Terrine is usually a water roasted meat blend, pate like. Rillette meat diced, seasoned and pounded into paste, covered with thin layer fat.
Some sausage have included, duck confit cherry chorizo, rosemary bourbon venison, and polish kielbasa. While terrine range from bacon and egg to apricot and pistachio. Rillettes also stick to the Blue Star ideal of something different; peanut miso bison, chipotle chicken, or even the classical duck. The “meat board” is not the only outlet for our charcuteric pleasure at the Blue Star. We have also featured various items on the menu such as; wild boar sausage, panchetta, green chile sausage, and even mushroom pate as a vegetarian option.
Most of the charchuterie is produced from portions of larger primal cuts that we fabricate in house. It's just a continuation of the butchering practices that have been utilized for thousands of years. The curing process differs depending of the final product. Panchetta is air dried for weeks while duck confit is slow roasted for hours. Some of our sausages are smoked and dry-cured while others are fresh.