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The Great Pastrami & Smoked Meat Experiment (2003)(Re-Visited)
Novice at meat-curer looking for advice. I'm making 2 pancettas this season.
The first one I used the over-salting technique. What I didn't expect was that the salt would all turn into brine in a day, and I expected that I could scrape away the excess salt at the end. Instead, I left it on the brine for too long, and the result was too salty. The meat firmed up in 2 days so I should've taken it out then.
For my second one, which is currently in the fridge, I used the equilibrium salting technique. I added about 100g salt for 3.5kg meat. The problem now is that it's not firming up seemingly at all! It has been 9 days in the fridge, and flipping it every day or 2. After 6 days, however, there was no pool of brine left. I put the meat in a folded over but unsealed bag. Did the brine evaporate or resoak into the meat?
Any advice on how to continue would be appreciated.
I made some Lonza and cured it for 2 weeks.
In the drying chamber (70% humidity and 55F with gentle air flow) it's only been 4 days but it's already lost 30% of its pre-drying chamber weight. Normally that can take weeks.
Is that normal, and is the meat ready?
My first Guanciale is looking good. It smells clean, fresh, and is firming up nicely after about 3 weeks in the curing chamber at 65% humidity and 55F. First piece slices nicely and it seems great.
I've a question…
On the outside are some tiny white/straw-colored flecks (ignore darker flecks - this is some remaining Thyme from the cure).
They do not penetrate the skin and I am not sure whether it's mold or salt coming out or fat or what.
Thoughts? Likely safe?
I have received a wonderful gift from a lovely friend.
A whole home cured, dried pig face. I call her Cameron.
This will be used slowly over the winter. I'm dribbling thinking about the ears stir-fried with chilies Hunan style. The cheeks! The snout! I'm ecstatic.
I'll follow up with with how I use it, but for the moment I'm just content watching her watching me as she hangs in the wind on my balcony. It's love!
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