The previous post, with some basic info and getting started on this batch: Dry-curing bacon for seasoning meat
This batch ended up sitting longer in the fridge, near the end, because I got distracted by a tooth abscess–but, it turned out fine anyway. Here are some more process photos, finally. 🙂
Day 2, before draining and resalting:
Day 3 or 4, with less liquid already getting drawn out:
Don’t worry if the brine smells like stale blood, BTW, because it mostly is. 😐 Glad to drain that stuff off!
Day 5 or 6:
I thought that, with the amount of lean meat full of moisture, it would probably take a bit longer for this batch, and it did. At this point, it needed a couple more days of curing.
But, a couple of days after that, it was starting to dry out enough that I intended to dump the rest of the cure on it and give it one more day in the fridge. That turned into about a week, but at that stage it wasn’t a problem. Thankfully! This photo is after I started resalting it for the day.
About a week ago, I finally got it rinsed, wrapped, and hung up to dry more.
First I laid out a clean, thin tea towel. Don’t use one that you mind staining; some other kind of thin cotton cloth will work OK, too. This one has been repeatedly used for things like this, and it still doesn’t look great even though I always wash kitchen towels with Oxi stuff to get rid of germs.
The lighting was really bad here. But, lay the pieces lengthwise, and wrap them up. This approach is easier with a single bigger slab, but it works OK with the sliced.
I rubber-banded the top and bottom. One reason I like to use these towels is that they come with handy hanging loops. 🙂
Those hooks are inconveniently placed for dish towels, as Mr. Sweden intended, but they’re great for things like bags of citrus and drying bacon. 😉 Not to mention decorative corn that you’re not sure what else to do with out of season. But, corn!
Cherokee folk song sung by Walker Calhoun of Cherokee, North Carolina at the Berea College Celebration of Traditional Music 10-26-90.
Today, I figured it was probably dry enough, and I wanted to use some in a pot of beans. One of the leaner pieces still had a bit much moisture, so I cut some from it and hung it back up. The other three pieces got double-bagged and put into the freezer. Salty, fatty things won’t keep too long in there, but it ought to hold for a few extra months without starting to go rancid. IME, about six months is the freezer storage limit before it starts turning.
The color is a bit off here, but looking pretty good! I wasn’t sure, but apparently there was enough nitrate (with my cautious addition) to keep it from turning brownish greyish: perfectly fine to eat, but an offputting color.