Friday, June 21, 2013

Done with the Cure!

So what next?
With heaps of advice (mostly contradictory) on the internet I went for some gut feel stuff!

Decided to smoke one of the bacons, air dry/hang another and the pancetta. So this meant I needed a cold smoker. Again some more internet research and this came out as plan A. Fire in the left bin, cold smoke in the far bin. Simple :) I used some BBQ trays for the fire and then set about turning Oak into chippings mixed with some hickory chips to make the smoke. I was aiming for 24hrs continuous but could only get it to work for 3 sessions of about 8hrs. Less than suggested but I decided not to overpower the flavours 1st time out.
As expected things didn't go exactly to plan and some extra fire killed the flexi pipe so I think mark 2 will have a fixed metal chimney before the flexi hose and more vents in the fire part to get  a better draw. Anyway it's done now and ready to eat (I'll come to that in a minute).

Everything else is drying now in my homemade cages to keep the wildlife and the cats out. Will be sampling some of this shortly. Very curious to see how the pancetta tastes!
As all this was going on my 2 hams were approaching their curing time (one wet one dry). First out was the dry one, with the salt it was packed in having taken on a lot of moisture an was looking good. Following HFW's method that came out and is now wrapped in muslin and hanging in another cage. It needs 3-6 months some hopefully I'll get a nice surprise nearer Christmas though I might have to find somewhere cooler to keep hanging it.
The wet cured ham also came out and following the method was washed and wrapped. Not decided what to do with that one yet for storage or when to cook or eat it so some more planning to do.
Cidre Cured

Air Drying Ham

And now for the best bit.
The Smoked Bacon came up to the Kitchen. There were a couple of spots of mould which I removed but apart from that it's clean. A slight butchering mistake means there is still some bone in there but the clever made fairly light work of it. Sliced and into the pan for a quick cook then into my first bacon sandwich from the Pig. A very happy morning, a little salty but not bad especially for the end. Smokeyness is there but not overpowering. I recon this will be a good thing to have!! Topped with a little homemade tomatoe sauce and it was a great way to start the morning.

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