For the past week and a half a leg of pork has been sat in a box full of salt with a loosely fitting lid weighed down with a few house bricks.
|Don't worry the inside is spotless.|
After some careful digging I unearthed the ham.
|Roll on February.|
Moving to something with a slightly shorter preparation time, I picked up a side of Pork today to be made in to bacon. For the anatomically challenged I have managed to knock up a quick sketch showing the approximate location of a Side of Pork
Basically the "side" is a roughly square section of pork running from the spine to the mid line of the belly. It comprises loin from up by the spine which gives back bacon and the belly which gives us streaky. Funnily enough the meat between the belly and the loin give us "Middle Bacon". It looks like this in the flesh ....
This side weighed just over 7 Kg fresh or 15 and a half pounds in "old money". It will loose some weight during the curing process but should provide somewhere in the region of 13 to 14 lbs of bacon.
The great thing about curing a side is that the resultant rashers are very long and are back bacon at one end and run through middle to streaky at the other. So, where do we go from here ....
... The first thing to do is to cut it up in to three pieces that are more manageable to handle and obviously increase the surface area and therefore reduce the chance of the cure failing. Each piece is then thoroughly massaged with the cure mixture. This is basically 3 parts salt to one part brown sugar with added aromatics. I use black peppercorns, bay and coriander but there many other flavours that can be used.
|The left end is back bacon, the right is streaky. Guess what the middle is called.|
By the end of the week I will have what is called Green Bacon which is "un-smoked" in Supermarket speak.