Cured Meat
Which Meats/  Cuts
Salting
Drying
Eating
Dry Rub
Mold
Future Work
7.3

Cured Meat

Among my many culinary experiments, one of my most successful ones has been meat curing. Fairly easy, and the result is pure meat candy.

To do it too, you will need:
  • Meat

  • Salt

  • Prague powder (AKA Instacure #2)

  • A precise (ideally sub-gram) kitchen scale

  • Cheese cloth and string

  • Space in a clean fridge

  • Optionally (but a good idea) spices for a dry rub

Which Meats/Cuts

I’ve had most success curing tender cuts of beef. Filet mignon is best, but tenderloin works too. To not make too much at a time, I typically use cuts of 1/2lb to 1lb.

I’ve also used pork, which gives an approximation of prosciutto crudo. I’ve had success with pork roasts, but pork shoulder would be more authentic. These tend to be larger cuts (2+lbs), though, but leftover cured pork is great for making pâté de campagne.

The instructions below should also work well for various game meats. Don’t attempt with poultry, though, unless you want to risk salmonella.

Salting

I use dry curing.

Drying

Eating

When eating a piece, cut what you want to eat, then wrap the rest back in the cheese cloth, and put it back in the fridge.

Cured meat keeps for weeks, if not months (that’s kind of the point). But unless you have serious cutting equipment, you should eat it before it gets too dry to be easy to cut.

Dry Rub

I like the following dry rub with beef. Pork is better without a rub, in my opinion.

Mold

When curing meat, mold can be an issue. I have not had problems with mold myself, but just be aware. Apparently, not all molds are dangerous, but you’ll want to read up on that more.

Future Work

Some people smoke their meat between salting it and drying it. I have not tried it myself, but it sounds delicious.