My youngest son Daniel and I share a love of cooking, buying from farm gates, game meats, and making whatever we can, from what we buy, from scratch. I guess of all the people in our family, we are the ones who really like to know where our food comes from!
Right now with our house let out in Warrnambool, we are based here in Traralgon with Daniel for an unknown length of time.
Before we arrived with our freezer full of fish fillets, crab, squid and rabbits, Daniel filled his with organic grass fed beef from the Glengarry Free Range Egg lady he deals with at work, and a 5 month old pig that he arranged to have butchered for us. Both lots of meat are proving to be amazing which is always good when you have a lot of it to eat.
Daniel has just started getting interested in the home curing of meats so the first thing he and I did when Russ and I arrived was to cure some of the pork belly to make bacon. He (Daniel) organised the cure for it, I turned it daily for 5 days, then yesterday, I washed it and oven baked it at 120 c for about 2.5 hours until it had reached 64c internally.
This morning, Russell cut off a few slices (well small slabs maybe) and we cooked it for our brunch. It’s amazing to say the least.
- 1.2 kg pork belly
- 30 g salt
- 15 g sugar
- 5 g pepper
- about a teaspoon of liquid smoke
- good sprinkling dried oregano and dried thyme
- 1 g curing salt #2
- Rub the pork belly with the combined remaining ingredients. Place in a non-reactive container or zip lock bag and refrigerate. Turn every day for 5 days. Can leave it for longer but it’ll get saltier by the day.
- On day 5, wash and pat dry, then bake in an oven preheated to 120 c for about two hours or until the internal temp reaches 64 c when tested with a thermometre.
- Cool then refrigerate. Use as you would any commercial bacon.
My attempt at Corned Silverside (under instruction)
- 2 kg fresh silverside, trimmed of most of its fat
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 180 g salt
- 4 g curing salt #2
- Pickling spice mix (ingredients below)
- 1 litre very hot water
- 2 litres very cold water
Pickling Spice Mix
- 4 bay leaves
- 1 tablespoon allspice berries
- 1 teaspoon brown mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon yellow mustard seeds
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme leaves
- 4 whole cloves
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
- 1 teaspoon coriander seeds
- 1 teaspoon dill seeds
- 2 teaspoons ground ginger
- 4 dried crushed chillies
- Place the meat in a non reactive food grade container (garbage bags and bins are not food grade) or zip lock bag.
- Mix the salt, sugar, curing salt and pickling spices together with the hot water, stirring until the salt and sugar are dissolved.
- Add the cold water, stir then pour over the meat in the container.
- Submerge the meat in the brine in the brine with a weight (I used a plate) placed on it to keep it under. It needs to stay under for about at least a week.
- I’ve read that it can stay longer so it might work well to cook one, then remove the next one a week or so later and cook it?