by Scott Bridi of Brooklyn Cured
The smoked ham at Eagle Provisions in the South Slope would make a great centerpiece for a holiday meal. You can buy one cooked and ready to go with some extra glaze that you apply as you gently heat it in the oven. I really enjoy making my own smoked ham, but these guys do a really good job. Leftovers are great on sandwiches, in omelettes, and cooked in a pot of beans.
Di Paola turkeys are really fantastic. They are darker and gamier than most birds, without being inaccessible. I also get great satisfaction knowing that the birds are raised locally and are treated well. I like to braise or confit the turkey legs and toss the meat into my stuffing. You can find DiPaola Turkeys at most Brooklyn Greenmarkets.
Paisanos on Smith Street in Boerum Hill sells some fantastic lamb. I like to bone out the leg of lamb and marinate it with olive oil, rosemary, red wine, and lemon zest, the same flavors that are in Brooklyn Cured’s lamb sausage with black olives. After it has marinated for a day, I stuff it with calamata olives, tie it, and slow roast it.
D. Collucio and Sons in Borough Park and Brooklyn Larder in Park Slope are my picks for Old World and modern holiday antipasto spreads. Growing up in an Italian family, we would always have a meal before the meal, and antipasto platters were a big part of that. The Soppressata and prosciutto di Parma at D. Collucio and Sons really bring me back to my childhood. You can’t go wrong pairing those meats with some roasted red peppers and nice provolone. Brooklyn Larder has similar offerings with an updated sensibility. Their thinly-sliced Porchetta makes an excellent addition to a holiday antipasto. They also have great accompaniments like marinated mushrooms.
And of course, there’s Brooklyn Cured’s Turkey Dinner Sausage: I like eating it with mashed potatoes and gravy. I really try to capture the flavors of Thanksgiving in one sausage.
Another seasonal treat I’m making is Brooklyn Cured’s Italian New Year’s Sausage: This sweet Italian pork sausage has a hint of winter spice and vanilla. The inspiration for this sausage is cotechino, which is typically eaten on New Years Day in Italy with lentils. The lentils symbolize coins, and the dish is eaten to bring luck and prosperity for the coming year. Its a great sausage to roast and serve over lentils or white beans with some kale or cauliflower.
Scott Bridi, the founder of Brooklyn Cured, is born and bred in Brooklyn and has been cooking in New York City for eight years. Most notably, he ran Gramercy Tavern’s charcuterie program for two years. He then moved on to Marlow & Daughters butcher shop in Williamsburg, which he ran for one year while refining his craft. You can find his goods on Saturdays at Brooklyn Flea in Fort Greene, on Sundays at The Foodshed Market in Boerum Hill, and at Brooklyn Victory Garden in Clinton Hill and Blue Apron Fine Foods in Park Slope.