August 31, 2015 at 6:51 am #24965HelenAdamsParticipant
I cured a ham with mixed results.
It looks like ham, slices like ham, but not salty enough.
My fault entirely I am sure.
When I made corned beef it was too salty but soaking it cured that.
I did follow the recipe but brined it less time as many people suggest for a smaller cut of meat and soaked it before cooking.
Next time I will follow a recipe timing exactly and cook before doing any soaking.
While I am mildly disappointed it is a learning experience and it was less than $3.00 for all ingredients including meat. Plus it is an incredibly simple process overall.August 31, 2015 at 9:17 am #24966Laura PazzagliaKeymaster
I was working on home-made not-bone-in-ham-for-sandwich-slices about a year ago in the pressure cooker.
I found out that without the “insta cure” or whatever it’s called that chemically gives the ham the “pink” color the ham tasted right, but the color quickly oxidized from pink, to beige, to gray.
It was delicious and tasted great, but it’s hard to look at a gray slice and only think about the flavor.
I haven’t gone back to it because if it can’t be done at home using stuff you can find in your pantry – then it’s not really worth to publish the recipe. That’s just my opinion and how I make my recipe choices.
But…. WOW if yours can turn out as beautiful as the one from Chef Steps it’s probably worth a shot!
LAugust 31, 2015 at 12:00 pm #24973Laura PazzagliaKeymaster
My mother-in-law is one of those people she makes her own salami and coppa.
When she visits she balances broom handles around the house and hangs pork on there to cure. They used to be very good but her eyesight and memory are failing (but she won’t admit it) so the quality is going down and now I only feed them to the kids cooked (like on a focaccia, pizza or pasta sauce).
I remember when she insisted to take-in Vito’s Karte’ uniform. She couldn’t see well so she poked her finger with the needle a few times. Oh that was a fun time getting all the blood stains of white cotton.
She also “pickles” vegetables and decides on the quantity of vinegar by taste. Since the last batch of spicy pickled zucchini all had mold on them I told my husband he has to tactfully tell her not to make those for us anymore.
She really needs to write things down and measure things now – but advice from daughter-in-laws (even cooking professionals) is pretty much ignored in Italy. I try to get my husband to tell her but he doesn’t want to offend (it’s a Southern Italian thing).
LAugust 31, 2015 at 9:41 pm #24982AnonymousParticipant
I am so coming round to your place for dinner @Helen!
This reminds me of when I was in Spain. I was traveling with a friend who was having problems with the amount of meat on the menu all the time. One night he specifically said he wanted to go vegetarian for a few days. There was “something y Chorizo” which I ordered. Thinking he could cope with one Chorizo sausage, he decided to follow my lead. The “something” turned out to very similar to that chefsteps ham hock ( only bigger!) with a whole large chorizo sausage on the side. Absolutely delicious, but blowed if I could eat it all. He just looked at it in disgust and ate the side salad.
InstaCure #1 goes by many names. It is uncommon, but by no means difficult to get.
It doesn’t just add the pink colour. IT is also important for the preservative qualities it provides. It is used in pretty much all preserved meats from corned beef to bacon. It is also called pink salt, prague powder #1 and so on. The pink colour in the meat comes from a chemical reaction between the Sodium Nitrite in the salt and myoglobin in the meat. It has nothing to do with the pink colouring often found in the salt. You do need to be careful with quantities though. Sodium nitrite is lethal in doses less than a teaspoon. InstaCure #1 is only 6% Sodium Nitrite, and you typically only use a teaspoon (6g) of that so you are pretty safe. There is also InstaCure #2 which is more potent and contains Sodium Nitrate as well as Sodium Nitrite. The Nitrate breaks down into nitrite over time so it acts as a longer term preservative.September 1, 2015 at 12:12 am #24983HelenAdamsParticipant
Well if you are ever in Vancouver you and your wife would be most welcome to visit.
The curing process fascinates me and I find I don’t mind waiting for a week or so till it is finished. If I had more people to feed I would do like kenji and make several variations at once.
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