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Salting meat

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Steve Maskery

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Several months ago I went on one of Steve Lamb's Smoking and Curing courses. Not cheap but most enjoyable.

Putting theory into practice my mate Charlie and I decided to have a go at making some Prosciutto. I bought a big bag of Pure Dried Vacuumed salt (PDV salt) and Charlie bought a shoulder of pork, 1.3kg. We salted it, 6 days per kg, (down to 900g) and it is now hanging airily in my workshop in a net washing bag until it has finished losing water (about Christmas 2020, I think).

So far, so good.

So we decided to do another one, bought a piece of pork a couple of weeks ago, only 900g this one, packed it in salt and waited.

Today we took it out to hang. Yuk, what a stink! It was as high as a kite. What we hadn't realised is that it was a rolled joint, not a solid one. So there was a surface inside, rolled in on itself, that was not in contact with the salt, but which would have had bacteria on it already.

So the meat, and the salt, have been bagged and binned.

Lesson learned.

It's a wonder that mankind survived the learning process!
 

Rorschach

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Luckily none of my curing adventures ended in stinky meat, plenty of other things went wrong though :lol:
 

Trainee neophyte

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Just in case you haven't found it yet: http://thesaltcuredpig.com

Also just in case, try their bacon recipe - the world's most perfect bacon, and ready in a week. Waiting 2 years for a ham is great, but I'm too impatient to eat BACON!!

Apologies if you are already far in advance of my humble curing efforts - growing your own pork means that you are far more protective of it - the possibility of a disaster makes it all a bit unnerving, so less risks are taken, plus it is insanely hot in the summer here, and I don't (yet) have a cave to hang things in - it's on the list, but then so is just about everything else.
 

RogerS

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Trainee neophyte":2vru3khb said:
Just in case you haven't found it yet: http://thesaltcuredpig.com

Also just in case, try their bacon recipe - the world's most perfect bacon, and ready in a week. Waiting 2 years for a ham is great, but I'm too impatient to eat BACON!!

Apologies if you are already far in advance of my humble curing efforts - growing your own pork means that you are far more protective of it - the possibility of a disaster makes it all a bit unnerving, so less risks are taken, plus it is insanely hot in the summer here, and I don't (yet) have a cave to hang things in - it's on the list, but then so is just about everything else.
You're very welcome to hang it in our cellar. Cold as anything. Mind you, it might not be there when you come to collect :wink:
 

Trainee neophyte

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You're too kind. We do three pigs a year, and it's probably 2,000 miles from here to there, but other than the logistics, and the knowledge that you would filtch it all, I would love to take up on the offer. So sorry it won't work out :-(

One day, when I don't have much else on, I need to dig my own cellar. How hard can it be?
 

doctor Bob

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Sounds interesting, I suppose you need to do one every 2 months or so really to keep a constant flow of ham, or is it a treat for a one off?
 

CHJ

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My Farther used to salt the hams and bacon sides in the old dairy on the cool slate slabs.
Remember regular rubbing in of salt and extra Saltpetre around any deboned areas or protruding bones.
The salted Hams and Sides were hung in an alcove/passageway off my bedroom of all places, with a curtain across the opening. (deep wall recess to interconnecting corridor door that was not used)

My grandfather used to delight in showing off his knife sharpening skills when going up and cutting off another bacon joint when staying with us.
 

Steve Maskery

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doctor Bob":rjwov78p said:
Sounds interesting, I suppose you need to do one every 2 months or so really to keep a constant flow of ham, or is it a treat for a one off?
Is that addressed to me, Bob? I'm not planning to go into production, it's just a bit of long-term fun really. But yes, you get the picture regarding sustainability.

The bacon we made on the course was OK, but very, very fatty. Now I am a believer that Fat = Flavour, but this was a rare breed and I bit too much, even for me.

The thieving highwaymen called Solicitors who handled the purchase of my house are in possession of my Title Deeds, so I don't have them, but apparently they show a couple of outhouses, one of which was a privy, the other labelled Pigsty. We all have the right to keep a pig, apparently. I have neighbours with chickens, and there used to be a goat (although I've not heard it for the last year or so and there was a change in tenancy), but I don't know anyone who keeps a pig.
 

Bm101

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I love this website. Really.
Where else would you get this mix of information and experience?
As an aside, My brother bought a whole pig carcass. I have no idea why.
They spent (endless amateur) hours butchering this pig lol.
Got to the point they were retching from the honk of raw pork but still trying to cut this animal up in the kitchen. :D Periodically one of them would have to leave the kitchen to go outside and dry heave.
My brother told me the story and I laughed solidly for 20 minutes until he was finished. :D
Looking back he was probably asking for help but it's a little late now. Missed that Cue (hammer)
 

doctor Bob

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Little bit off track, sorry Steve, but in my early 20's I spent 2 years on an Australian sheep station 200miles north of Broken Hill. Got given a motorbike, a dog and a rifle on my first day.

A few of my jobs were killing and buchering the mutton for the station consumption, 7 a week. Also getting kangeroo meat for the dogs, 2 a day.

One day the boss explained that we were all going out to shoot kangeroos, the meat to be used for bait for dingos, we needed about 10 of them. The farmers union were flying in specifically to inject poison into the meat. So off we went, bit of a disaster just got 2 kangeroos, so the boss's solution was to shoot his wifes horse ............. as you can imagine that nights dinner was a bit tense :D
 

Bm101

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doctor Bob":31w3xsk9 said:
Little bit off track, sorry Steve, but in my early 20's I spent 2 years on an Australian sheep station 200miles north of Broken Hill. Got given a motorbike, a dog and a rifle on my first day.

A few of my jobs were killing and buchering the mutton for the station consumption, 7 a week. Also getting kangeroo meat for the dogs, 2 a day.

One day the boss explained that we were all going out to shoot kangeroos, the meat to be used for bait for dingos, we needed about 10 of them. The farmers union were flying in specifically to inject poison into the meat. So off we went, bit of a disaster just got 2 kangeroos, so the boss's solution was to shoot his wifes horse ............. as you can imagine that nights dinner was a bit tense :D
:shock:
Crikey.
 

HappyHacker

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I know a few people who keep pigs. Most buy a weaner or two and bring them on till they are a reasonable weight. They then go to the abattoir and the carcass then goes to a local butcher who will cut it up to your requirements. Its usual to go for a rare breed cross to gain the best attributes of the rare breed and the cross. Too much fat is often related to the feeding rather than the breed although rare breeds do tend to be more fatty than the modern commercial breeds which tend to concentrate on fast growth and minimum fat to suit modern tastes.

I have butchered a pig but under guidance as it not an easy, there is a lot of knowledge required to know just where to make the cuts and the right sequence to do them. As with many craft skills the experts make it look easy.
 

Steve Maskery

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Somewhere in the annals of videoland there is some footage of me in Zambia holding a newborn piglet raised by Mr. Tuesday (yes, really, Mr. Tuesday). It was 7.45 in the morning, and the piglet was a bit, shall we say, perturbed, by being hoisted out of his nest (or whatever a baby pig's home is called). The result was that my nice clean white T-shirt that I'd had on for half an hour was now slashed with a broad streak of smelly brown stuff.
I washed it and hung it on a washing line and I like to think that someone was grateful to find it.
 

Droogs

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Here are a couple of very good books available on kindle unlimited on the subject Steve. The seond has lots of ideas on what to do with the old outbuilding spaces

Home production of quality meats and sausages - Stanley Marianski, Adam Marianski

Meat Smoking and Smokehouse Design - Stanley, Adam and Robert Marianski

One of the books also shows how to convert and old upright fridge into a temp and humidity controlled curing box

very enjoyable read if you like charcuterie and dream of making your own
 

Garno

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Steve Maskery":2u5p305l said:
The result was that my nice clean white T-shirt that I'd had on for half an hour was now slashed with a broad streak of smelly brown stuff.
I washed it and hung it on a washing line and I like to think that someone was grateful to find it.
I was and still am.
It's a bit on the tight side these days but I still hope to get a few more uses out of it. I have one small complaint, when you hold it up to the light you can just make out a shadow of some staining, any idea what that was? :eek:
 

Steve Maskery

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Garno":39jyeps0 said:
I was and still am.
It's a bit on the tight side these days but I still hope to get a few more uses out of it. I have one small complaint, when you hold it up to the light you can just make out a shadow of some staining, any idea what that was? :eek:
You must be a MASSIVE beggar.
 
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