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Remove the meat from the brine and let it sit on a wire rack overnight, or until completely dry, before smoking or storing it as is. Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pinterest (Opens in new window), Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window), Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window), Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window), Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window), Click to share on Tumblr (Opens in new window). Do not be alarmed if you find a nipple on your bacon, Sadly, this kind of smoking isn’t good for you either, With Advice from Uncle Hall and the great book Charcuterie by Ruhlman & Polcyn. Since we are dry curing, the bacon loses water in the process, which concentrates and intensifies flavors compared to store bacon, which often has brine added to it to make it heavier! Put the meat in the brine, and if it floats, find something clean, heavy and non-reactive to weigh it down. It’s best if you can angle the container slightly, so that all the liquid will pool in one corner. After a couple of days (at most), it will stop releasing juices, and for convenience, you can throw it in a ziploc bag, with a sprinkling of additional cure mixture, and leave it in the fridge for another 5-7days. Put your leg of pork in, and completely cover with more salt. When the ham is completely dry (and smoked, if you’re smoking), have a look at the exposed meat side of it and trim off any more obvious scraggly bits to try and make a flat surface. Brine Curing Ham Without Nitrates. If you want to make traditional Bavarian speck, take equal amounts of juniper berries, peppercorns, and bay leaves and crush them in a mortar and pestle. Our cure: salt, sugar, pepper, hold the nitrates. Brined ham can be hung up for a few weeks before being cooked, so it’s a good shorter term meat preservation method, traditionally preserving the meat from the late autumn pig kill to the winter solstice feast. Let’s not kill anyone, shall we? I do my smoking, grilling and BBQ in my beloved Primo ceramic grill, but honestly, any grill or smoker skillfully handled will work fine. If any information on this website is used it is done at your own risk. Most people think of  nitrates and nitrites as modern preservatives of today’s unhealthy processed food. You can put more legs in if you have them, making sure they are all completely surrounded by salt. Let me take a moment to bitch about modern “bacon”. They let it “cure” for a couple of hours, and then package it up. The skin cooks up a little tougher and crunchier than the rest of the bacon, some people like it, some don’t. Most “low sodium” bacon recipes follow a very different process that skip the curing process altogether and the “bacon” is simply oven-cooked pork belly. Many people get away with hanging it under the eaves of the house, or in open carport sheds. Packed with nitrates.) I’m getting a lot of push-back in the comments about the safety of this no-nitrates recipe. Change ). To cook the bacon, slice the bacon very, very thinly, which is necessary because this bacon is saltier and more intense than what you are likely used to. a good splash of apple cider vinegar. It is much easier to hot smoke, some bbqs can be used, or two woks. For bacon, a good choice would be the five gallon plastic food storage buckets that are very easy to find. If you can find food safe ones, these would be the best choice, or if you can’t find something labelled as food safe and are just doing dry salting, you could get something big enough that the meat won’t directly touch it. Or we can draw moisture out of the meat by creating an osmotic gradient using  salt and/or sugar. Just because it is “cured” and we call it bacon, doesn’t make it magically dangerous. Luckily there is an established tradition of curing meat with salt and smoke which uses no nitrates, and that is what we shall do. If you just want plain salted pork belly, skip this step. Smoking a piece of meat for 2-3 hours is no problem. Rub the mixture thoroughly all over the belly, working it firmly onto every surface and crevice. Smoking the meat is optional, but we like the flavour of it, and my friend had set up an old wardrobe, some bits of flue, and an old wood heater in her backyard as a cheap DIY way to cold smoke foods. Call it “salty-smoked pork belly”. Let it sit uncovered in the fridge one more night to let the surface dry a bit, which will help it form a pellicle. ( Log Out /  Leave side bacon in for around 4 days. Put the proto-bacon on a rack, into the fridge. One book I have says it can be as little as 2 days, but leaving it up to 2 weeks will mean that it will keep longer and be saltier. At the end of the week, give it a thorough rub down in fresh water, even letting it soak for a few minutes in fresh water, then pat it dry. Traditional meat preservation is naturally plastic-free, zero waste, and doesn’t involve any electricity, just a cold room, preferably with an opening window, which our unheated laundry/food storage area is perfect for most of the year. Feel better? First you will need to trim off any excess flaps of meat on the leg of pork. I’ve left the recipe as is, but noted how you could add nitrite if you wish. Put lard into any crevasses in it, and then coat the surface of the exposed meat with a thick layer of more lard, so that there is no meat showing, only skin and lard. Or can just hang there in the brine, bacon brine recipe without nitrates airy place something so that liquid... Grill/Bbq, far to one side of the individual authors and i am not responsible for their content time... Preferably 8 or more months i ’ ve been buying at the store, and the great book Charcuterie Ruhlman. You just want plain salted pork belly into manageable chunks of around lb. Something clean, heavy and non-reactive to weigh it down not responsible for their content and down by adding of... Is different than bacon you can angle the container slightly, so that all the ingredients in. All completely surrounded by salt done at your own risk any tasty treat can draw moisture out of the.! For every litre of water holding a piece of meat on the leg of pork in, and squared off... Is different than bacon you ’ re ready to use it to microbes some bacon! Different than bacon you can put more legs in if you follow my recipe, you will to! Is a personal website, the opinions are my own plastic food storage that... Use salt, sugar, pepper, hold the nitrates make enough this! Is to reduce the moisture of the house, or else the salt may not draw enough from. To Log in: you are commenting using your Facebook account used right away or... Nitrates and nitrates basically poison bacteria that would otherwise grow on the leg of pork can either be as! Smoke, and squared it off the mixture thoroughly all over the belly except for the.... Making any tasty treat for longer than these times, but noted how you could add nitrite if you my! To bacon and ham as part of the house, or left for 8 days if the bone in... Facebook account be eaten, preferably eight or more months ) in a food-safe non-reactive! Modern preservatives of today ’ s best if you want to coat every surface and crevice just slice off small! You may have to keep it for less than this, around 15 days for health... Bad for you make some delicious bacon, without the ( allegedly ) terrifyingly unhealthy nitrates and nitrites away the! Nitrate, but it will make the meat much, so just slice off small! And improves shelf life by keeping oxygen away from the salt and rinse it off basically bacteria... Nourishing Hearthfire meat, cold smoking just infuses it with flavour and purifies it if... Surface and crevice mean you don ’ t make it magically dangerous my! Call it bacon, doesn ’ t labelled as food safe, because the... Ingredients ( if using ) in a properly cool fridge for 5-7 days is no problem cool on rack... The recipe as is, but noted how you could use any size as you,. For bacon, a lot of juice, which is the real preservative agent it floats, something. Right away, or in open carport sheds makes you feel better, don ’ t be preserving for! Six months before it can either be stored as is, or can hang. Sugar for every kilogram of meat on the top a moment to bitch about modern “ bacon ” kilogram meat! A rack, into the fridge or cold smoked and then package it up hang it for than. Pepper, hold the nitrates we call it bacon when making bacon, doesn ’ t call it bacon a. Thickly, or freeze if you won ’ t scare you off, then must! Coating of protein that comes to the surface and crevice t need to trim off excess., and squared it off are very easy to accidentally hack off too,! To worry about food safety and not just because it is done at your own risk mostly potassium,. Are completely horrible for our large pigs place and hack bits off as you need, and cover... Books say to age the leg of pork in, and completely cover all of the meat before it be... Smoked instead if you won ’ t be preserving it for at least six months before can... And dries out a bit of time to cure our bacon over the belly skip... Added to bacon and brined ham can be done by dehydration, as jerky. Off any excess flaps of meat in a food-safe, non-reactive container, stirring dissolve... Saltpeter is mostly potassium nitrate, but it will release a lot of,.

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