Sunday, April 17, 2016

Smoked pork belly and ham

What is better than some home smoked pork belly and ham.
Cured with salt during a week first. As salty as u prefer it.
Then smoked for about 10 hours.
Slowly increasing the temperature until the meat ends up with an inner temperature at about 70 degrees Celcius.

Then u have the best bacon and ham u ever can imagine,


In this case:
1 piece 1 kg pig ham
2 pieces pork belly 1kg each

1 piece pork belly was cured/inbedded in 0,5 kg salt for 2 weeks. 0,2 kgs Nitrite salt and 0,3 kgs       sea salt. Liquid was removed a few times during this time and some extra salt added.

The second pork belly piece and the ham piece was cured in a saltwater bath for 4 days.
All meat was covered in saltwater during this time.
The saltwater mix was about 5% salt and 95% water. You cook up the water and add the salt.
Then u taste and add as much salt u like the meat to taste. The meat will be exactly as salty as the saltwater mix. Good to remember.
The saltwater will then penetrate about 1 cm into the meat from each side of the meat.
If the thickest part of the meat is 8 cms then it will take about 4 days for the salt to reach the center.
It´s better to keep it longer in the salt water to make sure all meat is cured as the taste won´t change anyway.

The nitrite salt makes the meat more red and attractive though . Also protect the meat better but is not as healthy if consumed to often.

The day had come to start up the smoker early in the morning. Alder wood chips used.
The meat was hooked in the smoker. A thermometer was added to the thickest piece of meat to the middle of it.

The temperature in the Smoker was between 60-90 degrees with some peaks up and down for 10 hours when the temperature was peaking over 100 degrees for a while to finish.
Some dry herbs from the garden and juniper chips was also added during the smoking to add some extra flavors.
In the end 1 dl sugar was added into the fire to give the meat a final goldish color finish from the smoke it gives.

The meat is removed from the smoker and covered in some aluminum foil to rest and cool down for a few hours.

The meat is wonderful as it is warm but u can feel all the tastes best when cold so wait a few hours or the day after to enjoy.

The ham was sliced and perfect on the breakfast bread to enjoy with some nice mustard on top.

The pork belly cured in salt for 2 weeks was very salty but good.
Perfect to enjoy with one or two cold beer together with friends as u get a little bit thirsty.

The other pork belly cured in saltwater was much milder and not that salty. Very nice sliced on some bread but also perfect to fry as bacon with some eggs . Delicious !

Thanks for showing your interest!
Please comment this and if u have a good recipe/cure don´t hesitate to share it here.
We all want to improve our cooking skills and try something new.