Monday, March 14, 2011

Salt Cure Round-Up

Between shoveling snow and picking up six substitute classes for six weeks, I just could not find the time to post my final projects on the salt cure.  Luckily, most of the snow is now gone so I reserved a morning to write.

I was extremely pleased that my second pancetta turned out as good as the first.  I'm a homemade pancetta convert and will never buy it in the store again.  I picked up a half pork belly this time at my local USDA butcher, cured it a la Charcuterie, and the result was fabulous, again!

I've used the pancetta in a variety of preparations, but I cannot stop eating one of my favorites, Angels on Horseback!  And, of course, instead of wrapping the oysters in bacon, I used pancetta!

For the final salt cure item, I made something that I had been wanting to make for a long time: Preserved Lemons.  After checking Charcuterie, I also took a look at similar recipes in two other cookbooks that I love, Sunshine Food by Sophie Grigson and Modern Moroccan by Ghillie Basan (which is way overpriced online - I bought it as a remainder for $5).  Charcuterie did not call for the addition of any liquid using only the salt.  Grigson called for some juice and some water.  Basan called only for extra juice. So, I checked out Michael Ruhlman's website on the same day that he posted an article about Lemon Confit, or, preserved lemons.  It's an article worth reading with many helpful suggestions in the discussion zone.

I bought some Meyer lemons and, using kosher salt, stuffed them into a one quart canning jar.

I decided to follow Basan's suggestion to put the jar of lemons aside for several days to let the skins soften, then push them down and add more lemons, salt, and juice.  This is what now sits in my root cellar.

Thank you Charcutepalooza!  I can't wait to use the preserved lemons and now it's time to post about brining!

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