Dry Curing: The Tastiest Way to Preserve Meat


| 6/4/2016 7:15:00 PM


Finished Bresaola 

There are plenty of methods for preserving meat. Whether you are bringing home a side of venison, harvesting your flock of chickens, or just making a trip home from the grocery store, being able to preserve your food is an age-old requirement.

These days, the refrigerator or freezer are the most common methods of food preservation. But another traditional method of preservation is dry curing. Dry curing involves salting and then drying of meats until they are safe to eat and shelf-stable, even at room temperatures.

If you've ever read Laura Ingalls Wilder's Little House in the Big Woods and wondered how they put their food up for the year without a refrigerator, this is it. With a little bit of salt, some time, and the right conditions, you, too, can turn your leg of venison into prosciutto or your farmstead's pork belly into pancetta.

What Do You Need to Dry Cure Meat?

At its simplest, you will need a cut of meat and a quantity of salt. You may want to add a little bit of sugar, pepper, and some spices as well.



Pretty much any cut of meat can be used for dry curing. There are traditional cuts, of course, that are used: pork belly is used for pancetta, the leg is used for prosciutto, the pig jowl is used for guanciale.

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Paulo
7/5/2016 7:24:20 AM

We used to do this in Brazil. We use the "pork belly" (fat + meat). Salts and a lot of dry spices complete the recipe! Hang it above the old wood stove and weaks later it is tasty. The "pork belly" is know by pancetta in Brazil. Fresh bread an a glass of wine complete the table.




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