Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Charcuterie 101, Dried Loin, Part 3

OK, about a month ago, we cut our Costco pork loin (about 7.5 lbs) into three pieces, rubbed each piece with Morton's Tenderquick cure, and put them in gallon bags in the fridge. Charcuterie 101, Dried Pork Loin, Part 1. About two weeks ago, we hung our cured and spiced pork loin to dry. Charcuterie 101, Dried Pork Loin, Part 2. Yesterday even though they had been hanging only a bit more than two weeks, I could tell they were ready to bring upstairs and slice, because they had no raw meat "give" or "squishiness." The drying conditions in my basement had changed as the heating season ended. The temperature had crept up from the low sixities to the high sixties, but the relative humidity had increased tremendously as well, so I moved the drying cabinet off the pan of water, and checked them every other day or so. There was a little mold on the dried loin pieces, which I wiped off with a clean towel wetted with vinegar.

Here is the dried meat after cleaning off the mold:

Loin Fully Dried.JPG

It's really necessary to have a decent meat slicer if you are going to do charcuterie! After a bit of internet research, I settled on the "Chef's Choice 610 Premium Electric Food Slicer" (Edgecraft), as the best slicer around $100. The glowing reviews have proven warranted in our limited use of this little jewel so far.

Chef's Choice 610 Slicer.JPG

Here is the sliced meat on the tray.

Slices in Slicer Tray.JPG

Next, we arrange it nicely for vacuum packing. I need to find a supply of those nice gold foil faced cards, but in the meantime, we just arrange them on tinfoil and vacuum pack them.

Ready to Vacuum Pack.JPG

The final step is to vacuum pack in your Foodsaver or other vacuum packing machine. Vacuum packed cured and dried meat like this will keep indefinitely. Here is the final product, vacuum packed ready to store.

Vacuum Packed Loin.JPG

So that's pretty much it! This is a great delicacy! I'll send Marc at Wefings a package and we'll enjoy the rest!

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