In Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry (W.W. Norton & Company, 2014), food preserving expert Cathy Barrow presents a beautiful collection of essential preserving techniques for turning the fleeting abundance of the farmers’ market into a well-stocked pantry full of canned fruits and vegetables, jams, stocks, soups and more. This Cured Pork Tenderloin recipe is from the section “Preserved Meat and Fish.”
Cured Pork Tenderloin
Because I am the only person in my household who eats cured meats, and someone who perhaps loves them a little too much, curing a pork tenderloin is just right. I use Aleppo pepper, a chile common to Middle Eastern cuisines. I like the mild heat and the way the fruity flavor accents the pork. Whatever you call it, however you spice it, it is a delightful addition to the apéro hour.
Wrapped loosely in parchment paper, the cured meat will keep for a month in the refrigerator but will continue to dry out. If it becomes so dry it cannot be sliced, use a microplane and grate the last bits over pasta or scrambled eggs.
• 1 pork tenderloin (about 1 pound, 454 g; about 12 oz., 340 g after trimming)
• Kosher or sea salt
• 1 tablespoon Aleppo pepper
1. Trim any obvious fat away from the exterior of the tenderloin. Cut off the tapering ends, forming a uniform thickness.
2. To calculate the correct amount of salt, weigh the trimmed tenderloin and multiply the weight by 3% (Example: 340 g × .003 = 10 grams salt). Using volume (tablespoon) measurements can lead to oversalted meat; use a scale. Rub the salt into the meat well, using the heel of your hand. Place the meat on a rack set over a baking sheet and refrigerate, uncovered, for 12 to 24 hours.
3. Knock off any apparent salt. Do not rinse. Truss the tenderloin, tying it off every inch, keeping the string snug, and ending with a long piece of twine to suspend the meat as it cures. Weigh the tenderloin in grams and make a note of the starting weight and the goal weight, which is 30 percent less. (Starting weight × 0.7 = ending weight).
4. Spread the pepper out on a board and roll the trussed meat in the pepper until it is entirely coated, including the ends.
5. Hang the tenderloin in your curing space for 10 days to 2 weeks, checking in on it every day. Check the weight after 10 days. When the tenderloin feels firm, with a slight give, and is near or at the ending weight, it is ready to enjoy.
6. Slice the tenderloin into thin coins and serve.
More Recipes from Mrs. Wheelbarrow's Practical Pantry:
Reprinted with permission from Mrs. Wheelbarrow’s Practical Pantry, by Cathy Barrow, and published by W.W. Norton & Company.