Author: John Gower

Brine Cured Ham 101

Having set out a basic approach to dry curing, where the rub mix containing both the curing ingredients and the sweeteners and aromats and spices are all applied dry to the surface of the meat, we can now look at wet methods, where a liquid brine is mixed and the meat immersed in this in order to cure and absorb the flavour elements. Brining is still an excellent method that we use a lot commercially, when curing different cuts. It’s incredibly efficient, in that once the meat is cut up into it’s primal (shoulders, bellies, loins and hams) they...

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Bacon 101

Here, I’m going to set out an actual dry cure method using a measured equilibrium (EQ) approach which is the simplest and most efficient way to make bacon with a known salt content and which, as long as it has been given at least the minimum time given to cure, does not rely on precise timing and will not get anymore salty if left longer and nor will it require any soaking or other nonsense to make it edible. For those interested in brine cures, which have a lot of benefits, in terms of the subtle introduction of liquid...

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Bacon Part Two: ‘Measured Dry Cure’

Brines are great, I love them as a way of introducing flavours and I love the way you can chuck a whole heap of pig in a bucket and simply pull various bits out at different times (hocks first, then belly, then back, then hams). However its a lot more space and time consuming to get right and, in my view isn’t where the beginner looking for convenience and confidence building should start. ‘Salt box’ is another oft used term for basically burying your pork in salt rather than brine. A solid, rather than liquid, immersion if you will....

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Bacon Part One: All about the base.

Bacon, as many a GIF and T-shirt exclaims, is the gateway meat. I mean, who doesn’t love it? so making your own doesn’t ever sound like a bad idea – ‘as much bacon as you want, whenever you want it’ its not exactly a hard sell, right? As luck would have it its a particularly easy one to cure to. Its not like some bone in ham or Culatello, no magic winds need to sweep down the right mountain to get it made, anyone with a fridge is basically ready to go. Most of the trouble and confusion actually...

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