Home Curing Pork

Canning, Dehydrating, Freezing, Fermenting, etc.

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Home Curing Pork

Postby George Collins » Sun Dec 02, 2012 7:49 pm

The hog killin to take place on Dec 29th will give provide my first opportunity to do many things. One of those things on the itinerary is to cure the hams and bacon. There are recipes aplenty on the Internet. As this is to be a learning experience, I hope to cure each ham using different recipes.

Unless someone more knowledgable than myself tells me, "Whoa, hold one there boy! You 'bout t'ruin an otherwise fine piece o'meat with that thar idiocy of yourn," I intend to treat the two hams thusly:

1. Straight sea salt and nothing but sea salt
2. 2:1 ratio of sea salt to brown sugar
(3. Youngblood has a ham and two bellies in cure right now for which he is using Morton's Tender Quik.)
No saltpeter.

The steps to be followed with each ham are termed "the single application method."
1. Rub cure into all surfaces of each ham with the lean areas receiving most of the curing agent(s).
2. Wrap the hams individually in non-waxed paper, place in a cloth bag and hang hoof side up in a well-ventilated, dry place.
3. Allow 2.5 days curing time for each pound of ham.
4. At the end of the curing time, unwrap the hams, remove the excess cure, few rap the ham in non-waxed paper and place in a cloth bag and set it to age in a 40 degree refrigerator.
5. Let ham age for one year.

As for the bellies and jowls:
1. 2 pounds sea salt to 4 pounds of brown sugar thoroughly mixed
2. Apply the cure by rubbing into the surface of the bacon at a rate of 1/2 ounce for every pound of green pork belly
3. Cure the bellies in a well ventilated outbuilding (screened in porch) on a slanted table so that the moisture produced will drain away from the bacon.
4. Cure the bacon for 7 days.
5. Smoke

Now for the question at hand to any that have already done this: what practical, specific tips might you suggest?

Is a screened porch on the north side of a house the best place to cure bacon? She the cure is removed from the hams, do you dunk it it a pure lye solution, hose it off with a garden hose, let your cows lick the salt off? In addition to a slanted table, might the bacon be placed on racks made of a fine wire mesh like hardware cloth? After your bacon is finished curing, does it require freezing? What is a good resource to avail one's self to to find more specific recommendations?
"Solve world hunger, tell no one." "The, the, the . . . The Grinch!"

"If you can't beat them, bite them."
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Re: Home Curing Pork

Postby matt walker » Mon Dec 03, 2012 12:54 am

Wow, I've only done the standard TQ curing methods. You are a brave man!

I'll look forward to learning from your experience. I did just a minute of Google-ing and, uh, be prepared to "trim off the mold." :shock:
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Re: Home Curing Pork

Postby George Collins » Mon Dec 03, 2012 1:22 am

I just ordered the book Meat Smoking and Smokehouse Design.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/ol/0982426704/ref=aw_d_ol?qid=1354496579&sr=8-1

The method presented in these videos seems like it most closely matches the process that I would like to emulate:





While I'm sure that back in olden days, there were some that had amazingly complex procedures and recipes and surely there was no shortage of those that achieved local fame for some combination of recipe and technique that no doubt went to the grave with them that would tax the culinary skills of even the world's best chefs to match.

I ain't interested in those processes in the least.

I'm sure there are all sorts of modern shortcuts that can be taken to make the process as easy as possible. And while I am more interested in those things than the above mentioned, shoot-for-the-moon process of meat curing, what most interests me is the work-a-day methods that the blue collar families of yesteryear employed to actually get-er-done so they could return their attentions to milking the cow, sloppin the remaining hogs, and other affairs of farm life that couldn't be neglected simply because it was hog killin time.

And in an effort at sustainability, I'd like to be as independent from electricity as possible in the actual process of preserving the meat. For instance, I don't mind using a sawzall to half the carcass but is prefer not to use a refrigerator during the curing of the meat. Additionally, I'd rather cure the whole hog in primal cuts than have to rely on a sawzall to cut out individual chops.

Or at a least that's how I'm feeling at the moment. I still reserve the right to chicken out.
"Solve world hunger, tell no one." "The, the, the . . . The Grinch!"

"If you can't beat them, bite them."
George Collins
 
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Re: Home Curing Pork

Postby Lollykoko » Mon Dec 03, 2012 2:47 am

Well, I suppose it could be a good thing that I've been on the phone rather than completing the reply I started 1 1/2 hours ago. You see, I had recently watched a great video that I was going to bring to your attention, George. You've already found it! I agree completely with your desire to be sustainable and independent of electricity.

I'll be interested in knowing how your salt only process works out. I love cured pork products, but it seems that almost everyone loads sugar into the meat and that doesn't work well for my health.
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Re: Home Curing Pork

Postby George Collins » Tue Dec 11, 2012 9:21 pm

Matt, do you still have any home cured bacon?
"Solve world hunger, tell no one." "The, the, the . . . The Grinch!"

"If you can't beat them, bite them."
George Collins
 
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Re: Home Curing Pork

Postby matt walker » Wed Dec 12, 2012 4:22 am

I think I do have a bit left. I ate some last week, and am hopeful that there's another bag in the freezer.
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Re: Home Curing Pork

Postby George Collins » Wed Dec 12, 2012 11:45 am

The reason I ask can best be conveyed in a text I sent to a friend yesterday. Reads thusly:

Just went to the butcher to pick up the bacon Youngblood just had sliced (so we are now well stocked on pork.)

When we got back home it was time for lunch. I sliced the rind off'n one of the scrap pieces, sliced it up and threw it in the frying pan. While the frying pan worked its magic, I spied that I had not done a very good job on a few of the rinds as they still contained a significant layer of fat.

"I wonder . . . ," I wondered.

Then, for real, I acted.

I took the Go-To knife to that layer of fat and slisched it, paper thin, off'n o'the rind.

It looked Jamon Iberico de Belottaish.

I laid it one my tongue. It TASTED Jamon Iberico de Belottaish.

Then, without thinking, I yelled out, "Hey kids, y'all come here. Y'all have got to try this!"

The predictable stampede occurred. "Whatcha got Dad!"

"What? Did I say that out loud?"

"Yeah! You said you had something you wanted us to try."

"I did?"

"Yes! Now what is it?"

"Uhm, some . . . ice . . . cream?"

"Daaaaaaaaaaad! What is it?"

"S'mores?"

"Daaaaaaaaad! Come on tell us!"

G! I knew that no matter how clever my lies, they were too schmart fer me. I gave in. I sliced each child a sample (FAR smaller than they wanted but FAR larger than I wanted them to have).

To my eternal consternation, they all loved it.


That us to say, if ya ain't skeered, take a piece, slice off a portion paper thin and lay that puppy on your tongue.

Then hold forth.
"Solve world hunger, tell no one." "The, the, the . . . The Grinch!"

"If you can't beat them, bite them."
George Collins
 
Posts: 535
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:57 pm
Location: South Central Mississippi, Zone 8a

Re: Home Curing Pork

Postby matt walker » Wed Dec 12, 2012 8:23 pm

Well, if everybody's doin' it.......

I'm game. I'll report back. I should say I am enjoying our dialog immensely George. You are a fairly inspiring dude.
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Re: Home Curing Pork

Postby George Collins » Thu Dec 13, 2012 12:04 pm

Image
"Solve world hunger, tell no one." "The, the, the . . . The Grinch!"

"If you can't beat them, bite them."
George Collins
 
Posts: 535
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:57 pm
Location: South Central Mississippi, Zone 8a

Re: Home Curing Pork

Postby George Collins » Thu Dec 20, 2012 3:57 am

Matt, I believe that perhaps, maybe, seemingly, and possibly that along with the curing process above outlined by Mr.Bill Dixon, I may have finally stumbled upon the YouTube equivalent if Hawg Killin for Dummies. On the day of, one of the last things prep-wise I'll likely do before going to the pig pen will be to review all of the videos contained in this thread.







"Solve world hunger, tell no one." "The, the, the . . . The Grinch!"

"If you can't beat them, bite them."
George Collins
 
Posts: 535
Joined: Mon Jan 16, 2012 10:57 pm
Location: South Central Mississippi, Zone 8a

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