Thursday, 23 July 2009

Curing bacon: Day 1

My father worked as a butcher when he was younger, and over the years he kept preparing meat for himself. I remember going to my grandfather's and making mince meat by putting lumps of meat through a mincer. Making sausages in my grandfather's garage, stuffing sausage mix into casings and smoking them. Smoking salmon in a home-made smoker. All very useful things to be able to do for yourself.

So, since he has a leg of pork and I was helping make it into bacon, this time I decided to photograph the process so I can better remember how to do it.

The first step is to create a 55% ratio salt to sugar mix for rubbing into the leg of pork.

2009-07-23 - Curing bacon - 01 - Salt and sugar

Ensure the salt and sugar combination is thoroughly mixed.

2009-07-23 - Curing bacon - 02

Cut the leg of pork open. In this case, the pork is thin enough that the cure should penetrate it, so stuff doesn't need to be injected into it as it would otherwise.

2009-07-23 - Curing bacon - 03 - Leg of pork

Sprinkle some salt in the curing container.

2009-07-23 - Curing bacon - 04

Rub the mix into the first side of the pork. Ensure the mix is rubbed thoroughly into all the nooks and crannies.

2009-07-23 - Curing bacon - 06

Flip the pork over and rub the mix into the other side.

2009-07-23 - Curing bacon - 08 - Other side

Throw the pork into the curing container.

2009-07-23 - Curing bacon - 10

Sprinkle some more mix over the top.

2009-07-23 - Curing bacon - 11

Throw the curing container into the fridge.

2009-07-23 - Curing bacon - 14 - Sit overnight

Leave it until tomorrow when the next steps occur. Something about how saltpeter is now illegal and they have better things to use these days. Also it needs to be turned each day.

Next post: Curing bacon: Day 2

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