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Meat Curing Recipes and Methods

 
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Hell Fire Grill
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16 10 6:58 am    Post subject: Meat Curing Recipes and Methods Reply with quote

Do you want to cure meat? Want to make some homemade Ham, bacon or smoked sausage and jerky?

The first thing you need to do is a lot of reading so you can cure meat safely. Being prepared is the key to success and knowledge is the first step in being prepared. Think of modern meat curing as a biology experiment that your going to control with chemicals, to put it simply. In my opinion you need to know all about the meat (e.g. fresh date, enhanced), chemicals and bacteria you'll be dealing with because its entirely possible that either one of them could make you sick or dead. I wont go into naming individual bacteria and chemicals because its all covered in the materials I'm about to supply. I also wont offer any information I haven't read and or used myself on account of this topic has no place for hearsay. If you have a rebuttal be prepared to cite your sources so we all know better.

Secondly a sanitary work area, utensils, equipment, storage and everything the meat and all the ingredients will come in contact with is extremely important. As well as a fairly accurate thermometer in your refrigerator, which will also need to be kept very clean. You don't want any rotten food, mold, blood or anything that could possibly contaminate the food you could have in your refrigerator curing for several days or weeks at a time.

Have a plan for every step of the process. Start with a recipe then figure out what you need to do to execute it in a sanitary and timely manner. Assemble all your ingredients, utensils, equipment and packaging and have them all together in one place so you know your not going to have to stop in the middle of processing, to drive into town and pick up anything you may have forgotten or misplaced. Pre measuring ingredients is a good way to make sure you have exactly what you need, just like Julia Child used to do but without so much wine. A check list is a good way to keep track of everything that needs to be done or compiled.

There is quite a bit of information online pertaining to curing meat but the ones I'll post are the ones I trust and have been used by a lot of other people, mainly in the online community, and the information in them is consistent with information I've read in the books I've read.

The first is Len poli's web site "Sonoma Mountain Sausages". He has compiled hundreds of cured meat and sausage recipes from his own kitchen. He sites sources of food safety information from the USDA/FSIS, recommends several books to read, offers links to supply houses and on and on. Its a good idea to read the entire introduction because it covers so many things pertaining to cured meat from meat inspection to nitrite and nitrate levels, brines, ingredients, starter cultures and the list goes on.

http://lpoli.50webs.com/Sausage%20recipes.htm

Wedliny Domowe is a polish sausage web site and one of my favorite because they don't use any liquid smoke, just the real thing. Its also link from Len Poli's site. The web site is owned by the Marianski family, if I recall correctly. The web site contains information on making sausage, BBQ, smokehouse design and other food preserving techniques e.g. canning and pickling to name a couple. All this information is available in the book "Meat Smoking and Smokehouse Design" by Marianski.

http://www.wedlinydomowe.com/

If your a more advanced sausage maker and want to make fermented sausages like pepponi and salami the Marianskis have writen the book called "The Art of making Fermented Sausages". It covers all the science you NEED to know about making dry cured products. Its loaded with information on safety, bacteria, equipment and more.

A highly recommended read and in some circles known as the meat curing bible is Rytec Kutas's book "Great Sausage Recipies and Meat Curing". Its oriented toward the professional sausage maker but has all the information needed to learn how to cure meat and sausages. Easily the most recommend book, to the best of my knowledge, and is a basic necessity to anyone wanting to learn how to cure meats. Covers pumping, spraying, brining, dry curing, smoking, meat selection and more than 500 pages of proven good information. I have a dozen book marks in mine it looks like a paper porcupine.

Another highly recommended book is "Charcuterie" the craft of salting, smoking and curing by Michael Ruhlman & Brian Polcyn. This is not your normal curing book it covers some finer points in the kitchen like pates, terrines, confite, sauces, chutney, relishes and other condiments as well as bacon, sausage and corned beef. Your not going to learn to Q with this one.

The book "Cold-Smoking & Salt-Curing Meat, Fish and game" is about 150 pages of knowledge compiled by A.D.Livingston. Its not a big book but its got some good information pertaining to curing meat with SALT & SMOKE the way they done it before they had nitrites. He repeatedly mentions the foxfire books which are books with information gathered from a small community in the Appalachian Mountains of Georgia called Rabun Gap. I haven't checked lately but the foxfire books used to be available online for free. Google it. As I recall it he also discusses at one point some fish he cured in a box somewhere in his wife's kitchen for well over a year and ate it without getting ill. His wife couldn't smell it or anything, she just didn't like the idea of it being in her kitchen and made him get it out of there.

"Canning, Freezing, Curing & Smoking Meat Fish & Game" by Wilbur F Eastman Jr. Covers basic preserving pork, fish, lamb, beef and game as well as bacteria, enzymes, molds, and yeasts. A good book for the person getting started in preserving and lightly touches on smoking, fires, USDA meat grading and a little bit about home slaughtering.

If your into pickling I recently read "The Joy of Pickling" by Linda Ziedrich. Not just cucumbers here - meat, fish and eggs are in there as well as chutneys, salsas and relishes. She covers freezer pickles, quick pickles, fermented pickles, sauerkraut and kimchi. 250 recipes from all over the world using all kinds of salts and vinegars to flavor the pickle. I haven't done much pickling, outside of cucumbers, but I think its an excellent way to preserve food and give it a very interesting flavor. I think the first recipes I'll try will be Garlic and some hot peppers.


Last edited by Hell Fire Grill on Mon Jul 25 11 10:21 pm; edited 1 time in total
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Awning Guy
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PostPosted: Thu Dec 16 10 12:26 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Thanks for the post, I want to make jerky and this was very in lighting..
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Rayzer
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PostPosted: Fri Dec 17 10 1:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Excellent post HF.. But...... you're a liar... Can I trust this info? Laughing
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jess
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PostPosted: Thu Jun 23 11 6:14 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

SOOO What you are saying is YOU don't know much about the subject- but you read a lot Question Rolling Eyes ...
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Hell Fire Grill
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PostPosted: Sun Jul 03 11 10:58 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

jess wrote:
SOOO What you are saying is YOU don't know much about the subject- but you read a lot Question Rolling Eyes ...


Read a lot and cured & preserved a lot. So what Im saying is if you dont do some reading you could make some serious mistakes. Your not likely to find me posting on a subject I dont have experience with and I'll only offer information that I have tryed and proven myself, no hearsay here.
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Oregon smoker
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 16 11 12:17 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

jess wrote:
SOOO What you are saying is YOU don't know much about the subject- but you read a lot Question Rolling Eyes ...



Having been to HFG's place and seen all of the equipment he has, i know he has more to say about the subject then you do.
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wildfire00
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PostPosted: Tue Aug 23 11 3:09 am    Post subject: jerky Reply with quote

I recently just posted about a 28 day dry age that i did with a 10lbs sirloin tip. I cut up what i wanted for steaks and used a bunch for jerky. if you havent tried 28 day aged jerky then your in for a treat. I only seasoned with salt and pepper, no marinade at all. All I can say is wow. I have never had a jerky with such a depth of flavor. If you get the opportunity you must try this.
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