Most people in the world would opt for meat as their main source of proteins. This makes it one of the most popular type of food you can get in any home. For most people, they would only buy enough meat for a day or two depending on the question. The reason is that they do not want to end up with spoilt meat in a few days.
Well, that should no longer be a problem as you can easily salt cure the meat and have it last longer. The cured meat will always end up giving the satisfaction that you can keep the meat for longer without worrying that it would go bad and issues of food poisoning. Let us now get into the process on how to salt cure meat easily at home.
What you’ll need
- Curing salt
1. Choose the meat for curing
You must have your favorite part of beef that you would like to cure and eat it later. For most people, it would be ham that they choose for curing. You can never go wrong with ham even if it is the first time you are trying out the whole process of curing meat with salt. It is advisable that first-timers also go for forgiving meat types such as the pork belly.
2. Trim the excess fat and tendons
It is important that you get to turn the meat into a jerk. This means that you get to strip off the excess fat and tendons. The fat is not the best for meat that is going to stay for a while without being cooked. With the excess fat removed, you should be ready for the next step.
3. Stab the meat for larger cuts
Before we can get to the curing part, we must also consider the situations when you have larger pieces of meat. You will need to stab the meat as part of making it easy for the salt to reach the different areas. You can use a prong for the stabbing process. This is important for parts such as the pork belly that would be covered by a lining of fat. With the salt deep in the different areas, you should have an easy time effectively curing the meat.
4. Picking the curing salt
With the meat chosen, it is also time to pick the curing salt to be used for the process. You can either decide to buy a premixed curing salt or prepare some at home. The work of the curing salt is to drain away any moisture from the stored meat so that it does not end up rotting and still help with intensifying the flavor.
Choosing the premixed curing salt is often great as it comes with additional ingredients important for the process. It can have sodium nitrite important for preventing botulism in the meat. Botulism can be quite dangerous to a person as it leads to respiratory problems and paralysis.
5. Consider using spices
It would not hurt to add some spices to the curing process. What is important is that you do not get carried away by the addition of spices. You just need to add enough spices to enrich the meat flavor and keep it fresh. Some of the spices to use for the process include peppercorns, star anise, fennel seeds, coriander, and much more.
6. Cover the meat with salt
Curing the meat involves rubbing the curing salt and the spices over the entire meat. You should generously cover the meat with the salt making sure that each part gets enough salt to avoid any loopholes.
7. Refrigerate the meat
Once the meat is covered in salt, cover the meat and proceed to refrigerate it for about 10 days. Always make sure that you allow for adequate airflow by having a small part of your cured meat uncovered. After 10 days, most of the moisture in the meat must have been drawn out with the help of salt.
8. Rinse the salt and spices
With the 10 days being over, take the meat out of the refrigerator and wash off the salt and spice mix. Rinse in enough water making sure that all the mix is removed even in the crevice of the meat. Let the meat air dry by placing it on an elevated rack. With the help of a paper towel, wipe away the excess moisture.
9. Serve whenever possible
You can now wrap the meat in cheesecloth for continued storage or serve it if you are ready to eat it. For any cured meat that is not being used, make sure to keep it in the refrigerator.
There you have it, curing of meat using salt is a simple process. You too can achieve it when you know the best guide to follow. This guide on how to salt cure meat should get you started easily and learn more about salt curing your meat for the future.