I had the pleasure of visiting Wolfie’s Pizzamia recently.
At Wolfie’s Pizzamia, they dry cure their own meats.
I tasted a sample of the prosciutto, which Chef Jason thought was a little tough, but I thought it had a excellent texture and flavor. Chef Jason gave me a great amount of detail about the dry curing process. Chef Jason can tell you better than I can about the process:
“We cure our meats in a salt boz method. It is exactly what it sounds like. We place the whole cuts of meat into the box or in this case a cambro and cover it with Sea Salt and Toasted Peppercorn Melange. Message the salt into the meat and place in a bag or ziplock bag to introduce the salt into the meat. We use a standard formula of 1 day = 2lbs. So if you have a 6lb lonza it will stay in the cure for 3 days. You will then cut and tie it and hang it until it loses 30% of its moisture. You would like 70% humidity and 70 degrees. For larger cuts of meat you want to submerge the whole cut of meat such as the Prosciutto di Wolf in Salt for the same cure formula. Only difference is after a week of dry hanging you want to rub the exposed meat with strutto mixed with flour to keep the meat from drying out. A prosciutto will cure for minimum of 10 months and as long as 2 to 3 years. You can play with flavor profiles when in the cure for the allotted time by adding such things as juniper berries or bay leaves.
We typically use two types of hogs and are local and fresh. We like hereford hogs and mangalista hogs which are really good for there huge amounts of fat.
All the scraps and trimmings from our hogs we use in making our house made sausages and meatballs that we make. We even make Pig butter and even cure some of the back fat from the Mangalista called Lardo. OMG is it good!”
Next, I sat down to start with my actual meal. I started with a small bowl of giardiniera, made in house.
The giardiniera was delicious. The vegetables were tasty and excellently seasoned.
I continued with a serving of the meatballs, made in house of course, with a blend of beef, pork and veal. They are then topped with homemade pomodoro sauce and shaved Pecorino Romano cheese.
The meatballs were excellent. They were moist, yet firm. The blend of meats provided a great flavor and added spices gave it a perfect amount of heat. The toppings of pomodoro and Romano cheese were a delightful finish to the meatballs.
On to the main course, lasagna.
The lasagna is made in house, from top to bottom, and it’s made to order. They start by rolling out the pasta, which is then layered with their homemade marinara sauce, in-house sausage (cheese lasagna is an option), and made in-house Ricotta cheese. The portion is a very generous one, roughly 6″x6″x2″. Everything about it was enjoyable, but I think the pasta was the most noticeably homemade, and I also think it was best complimented by the fact that is was freshly made. Most places make sheets of lasagna, and then reheat to order, but you could really tell that the lasagna was freshly made because the pasta was not soggy or too soft. The cheeses, sauce, and sausage were all layered nicely. I was surprised at how much sausage was used in the dish, as most places are much more sparing with their meats. I really enjoyed being able to have some sausage in every bite. They use a spicy Italian sausage, but it’s certainly not too spicy. If I had one criticism, I’d make the sausage a bit spicier, but I still think it was an excellent dish. As I said before, you get a huge portion. This could easily be 2 meals, especially with some bread or even a small appetizer.
I didn’t get a chance to try the garlic knots, but I was so full from the rest of my meal, I’m not sure I would have been able to enjoy them. The staff did tell me that they make their garlic knots to order, which means you won’t get hours old knots that have been sitting in a warmer. They’ll be fresh and delicious.
While I didn’t get a chance to try the garlic knots, I did have some bread with the pig butter that they make in house. They use leftover rendered pig fat from their meat, mix in some flour, shallots, and garlic, making for a delicious and creamy butter.
There’s plenty I haven’t said about Wolfie’s Pizzamia that I think is worth noting as well. They focus on sustainability. They use recyclable materials wherever possible. When they purchase a pig for their meat curing, they use the bones to make stock, the scraps to make sausage, the fat to make butter, and the skin to make cracklings. They expect to be able to delivery in the very near future, and they will be using an electric car to do so.
They currently open at 3pm Tuesday through Friday. They’re open for lunch and dinner on Saturday, and brunch through dinner on Sunday. They are closed Monday. They do have plans to open for lunch during the week in the future.