Portland chef Greg Higgins (of downtown's
restaurant) is in Mongolia, sharing his sausage and charcuterie making expertise with local butchers as part of
's Farmer to Farmer project, and he's blogging the whole trip for

In the sausage kitchen at Ochir, a restaurant where I'm working, it was a big day. After two days of discussions, explanations, shopping and improvisations, we finally were going to taste some products.

There's a dearth of pork here. Odd since I'm a charcutier, which by definition means a maker of cooked pig. But, from my long lists of recipes and photos Ulziikhuu, the owner of Ochir, had chosen Boudin Blanc, Genoa Salami, Terrine de Campagne, Preskopf and Black Forest ham. No easy task to translate, let alone fabricate without pork or many of the traditional seasonings.

It's key that we work within the confines of available products—both seasonings and meats—as well as respecting their food traditions. No cutting edge gastronomy here. The available meats are typically camel, goat, sheep, horse, an occasional yak and sometimes beef. Everything must be fully cooked—despite our notions of hard riding Mongol hordes subsisting on partially dry or raw meat these folks like their meat cooked and lots of it!

Next to tackle: stuffing, smoking and designing dishes for the products for the restaurant menu.