Barncast 103 — Curing

It’s warm enough to be back out in the the barn this week!! We have 3 great farm phone calls. I have a special request though. We’re going to be out of town for 3 weekends, and I want to put together some shows while we’re on the road. It will basically be farm phone sections, so that means I need your calls to the farm phone at 206-202-GOAT. Give us tips, give us stories, ask questions. Be as long as you like, call back if you’re cut off after 5 minutes.

In this weeks show:

  • Farm Phone request
  • Farm Phone: 206-202-GOAT. Sheep, to udder wash, to dexters
  • Round Up: not much
  • Farm Section: An intro to curing meat, bacon and hocks

For recipes on how to make this bacon, click on the more… link:

Bacon

I promised recipes, I’ll post em tonight!

Where we bought pink salt: Pink Salt. As promised $2. Might want to combine it with something to help shipping costs.

Basic Cure:

  • 1 pound kosher salt
  • 8 ounces sugar
  • 2 ounces pink salt

Combine, store in airtight container. Lasts indefinably.

Fresh Bacon:

  • 3-5 pound pork belly
  • about 0.25 cup basic cure, or enough to dredge the meat

Optional:

  • For a sweeter bacon add 1/2 cup maple syprup, or 1/2 cup maple suger, or 1/2 cup brown sugar
  • For a more savory bacon add ~5 cloves of garlic, 3 crushed bay leaves, 1 tablespoon very coarse peppercorn.

Trim the belly square. Spread the cure out in a dish large enough to accommodate the belly. Press all sides of the belly into the cure. Place the belly in a zip lock back. I found 3lbs fit into a 1 gallon bag. Flip the belly once a day for 7 days. After 7 days remove the belly from the cure, rinse well. Rest in fridge covered for up to 3 days.

For the oven: Heat over to 200f. Place the belly in a roasting pan and roast until it reached 150f.

For the smoker: Smoke till it reaches an internal temperate of 150f. Should take about 3 hours. Our bacon was pretty thin so the smoker around 180f was nice. Adjust as needed.

If the skin is still attached, remove while hot by slicing between the fat and skin with a knife. Our bellies already had the skin removed. Chill.

Once chilled it can be kept for up to 2 weeks in the fridge, slice as required. You can cut thick slices to use as lardon, or thin as bacon. If you don’t plan on using it right away slice and freeze.

Ham Hocks

  • 1 gallon water
  • 1.5 cup kosher salt
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 1.5 ounces pink salt
  • 8 fresh ham hocks, about 8 lbs

I did only 1 hock, and cut the cure by 1/3rd and it worked well.

Combine all the brine ingredients in a large pot and bringe to a simmer and stir until dissolved. Refrigerate till well chilled. Add the hocks to the brine, and weight them down with a plate to keep them submerged. Brine for 3 days. Remove the hocks, rinse, dry, and then refrigerate for 8 hours. Roast or hot smoke till they reach an internal temperature of 150f. Chill.

Here’s some pictures of our bacon:

Pork belly
Pork with cure
Bacon in zip lock bag
Bacon smoked
Bacon sliced

  1. Kirsten’s avatar

    Thanks for the great answers again!

    I actually live in a small town outside of Lafayette called Westpoint. Blink and you miss it, you know the kind.

    I was following the Fias Co Farm protocol for teat dip and had wndered how this would close the orifice, so thanks for clearing that up. I will check out what I can get locally.

    About the dehydrating—why seal into jars instead of sealing into the plastic sheets that come with the sealer. Wouldn’t that take up less space? I am sure you two have a great reason.

    Farm phone rocks and have a great week!

    Kirsten

    Reply

  2. misty’s avatar

    The jars are re-usable. :)

    Reply

  3. andrew’s avatar

    Hey Kirsten,

    You’re more than welcome. Fiasco Farms has different goals then I do, and I’m glad her techniques work for her.

    The plastic bags have 2 problems. They get expensive really quickly. For freezing things they work great, but for dehydration there’s just too much to seal so it would get too expensive. And then it turns out that dehydrated food punctures the bag half the time.

    Cheers,

    -Andrew

    Reply

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