Every time I cure some meat, I think of Jon in Albany. Because he gave me 8 oz of curing pink death salt. When you only use 1/4 tsp at a time, that is a LOT of curing salt.
I cured some pork loin I picked up at Roma Importing in Latham. Let it go for at least 5 days in a brine from Ruhlman, and it’s good to go! The gist of it is 1 gallon of water, 1/4 tsp pink curing salt, 1 1/2 c kosher salt, 1/2 c sugar (uh, don’t quote me on those salt & sugar measurements… it’s probably wrong). And then you can toss in whatever seasonings you want. I tossed in a half a head of garlic cloves and that was about it. Maybe some onion powder. Next time I’ll add in more… stuff.
But smoked over some maple wood chip bits and you get yourself a fine piece of cured, meaty goodness. This was a pork loin, so it was a fairly lean cut of meat to begin with. And I may have over smoked it a tad in the heat, so it’s drier than I’d like it to be, but Albany John keeps telling me that it’s really not as dry as I think it is.
Either way, great way to use up some meat (I picked this up for $3.99/lb on sale at Roma’s – their sale meats are still better quality than the grocery store any day of the week). For some reason I find cured meats more satisfying in smaller quantities, so it’s a good way to keep meat consumption down. I had some bread leftover and made a pretty bangin’ grilled cheese and ham sandwich (it takes me, like, 30 minutes because I keep the pan over low heat, otherwise I burn the bread, but it is so golden and delicious it is worth the wait). And Albany John’s been using some bits in omelettes.