Sunday, April 29, 2007

Homegrown Pork

We enjoyed a delicious country breakfast the other morning with fresh fried eggs, our own pork sausage (mmmmm!), cheese grits, and...well...bagels imported from New Jersey with the grandparents, but they're soooo good!

We had some of our bacon the day it finished curing. Wooooeeee, was it salty! We soaked it for about 4 hours that afternoon in some ice water, which improved the flavor tremendously. It's still salty, but more in line with prosciutto or belly lox, both of which I love. Thank goodness, because I was pretty bummed worrying that I'd ruined nearly 40lbs of bacon! Jim says the upside of it being salty is that we eat less of it in one sitting, and I can see the point.

After soaking it, I patted it dry and vacuum sealed each cut. They averaged out to 4lb packages each or thereabouts. I'm still going back and forth on whether I will try to dry hang the hams or freeze those as well. The whole cure equalization and hanging part seems ridiculously complex, according to the Virginia extension instructions I found. The temps and conditions seem rather difficult to achieve, especially in our larder in our basement, which keeps a pretty constant coolish temp throughout the year. Since the cure takes about 40 days, I still have plenty of time to decide.

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