Schinkenspec w/ Qview

Discussion in 'Meat Selection and Processing' started by brican, Oct 24, 2011.

  1. I am posting this in two parts as it might/will be too large a post. If I have gone too far please let me know. [​IMG]

    I will post the rest in the next couple of days. Hope this is of use to you.

    It has always fascinated me from a very early age in my teens of the whys and wherefores of doing things now instead of then. Why do things taste so good and others don’t? Of why some butchers worked hard at doing things hoping that at the end of the day there would be a little money to pay the bills, or others who seem to create things out of thin air; to decide to make something that had no recipe only to find out when he had finished he had another winner upon his hands.

    Such was a humble man whom I learned a great deal from.

    If one checks the internet on Schinken you will come up with numerous hits and after many hours you may find what you are looking for. Schinken is made from pork legs weighing around 15 – 20 lbs. usually they have been fed a diet of acorns which will add flavour to the end product. So in addition to salt being used for curing and above all garlic, pepper, coriander and juniper berries are used.


    It seems that every producer swears by its own recipe, which is why they give their product an individual flavour.

    The following is what I was taught by my good friend whose family came from the Black Forest region.

    Günter always used sow legs. If anyone has had the luck to cut up a sow you will know what I am on about, they tend to blunt your knives real quick nigh on as bad as cutting up a moose. When I asked why we were using sow legs instead of the regular pork legs I knew right away I should have thought it out a lot more. Surprise, surprise the answer I got was defiantly not the one that I would have put at the top of the list.
    The reason why he was using the sow legs was the fact that they contained less liquid and therefore would dry down faster. The other reason was that the pieces were large and meaty.  [​IMG]

    The following are some photos of the process of the boning out of the leg and what the finish pieces look like before we do the cure.


    Taking out the hip bone


    Getting ready to cut the tendon and separate the hip bone away from the meat


    Hip bone out



    Taking off the hock [meat for sausage]


    Boning knife running along the side of the bone, knife just penetrates the meat so it can feel the bone as we need to keep the cut marks to a minimum


    Bone exposed, sirloin tip on the left, top round [baron] on the right and at the bottom is the top sirloin.

    Getting ready to seam out the sirloin tip, the start of the seam can be seen in the centre just under the bone.

    Sirloin tip seamed out.

    Sirloin tip cleaned up of trim and silver skin.

    Last bone being removed

    Starting to separate the top round from the bottom round [in the centre where the white part is]

    Just about their




    Top round cleaned and ready for salting



    Peeling [seaming] and cutting off the top sirloin




    Trimming off the top as well as squaring off the sides which leaves us with a well trimmed top sirloin

    Taking the heel [connective tissue/shank meat] off the bottom round




    Trimming and squaring up the bottom round the bottom two photos show the tough silverskin being removed


    Four very large pieces cleaned and ready for salting

    All Purpose Curing salt in a large stainless steel bowl which is ideal for the salting that I do

    Top sirloin being rubbed all over to make sure the curing salt gets into all the crevasse


    All four pieces have been rubbed with the curing salt, excess has been shaken off. Note in the bottom left hand corner a plastic tray under the meat, this is there so that the meat dose not sit in the liquid that is pulled off from the meat. If this was to happen the meat will get tough
  2. neutral

    neutral Fire Starter

    wow! i cant wait to see the rest of it. I love your detail and instructions. This is gonna be a good one. I'm really excited because i just commited to buying a pig today. Should be butchering on the 19th of nov ;)   Keep up the good work.
  3. fpnmf

    fpnmf Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Very nice!!!

     Looking forward to the rest of the story!!

  4. Very cool. Nice step by step. Can't wait to see the finish. [​IMG]

    What does your curing salt consist of?
    Last edited: Oct 25, 2011

  5. [​IMG]
  6. Well stuck here at work with blacks in the tank cooking and not much to do except watch the clock get closer to midnight so will post the following.

    Here is the follow up to the Schinken.

    As you see boning out the legs is a somewhat simple task if one takes there time. After boning out the meat it is then salted with salt and cure then placed in a plastic container elevated on tray/wire [cake] rack so that the meat will not sit in the liquid that is drawn off during the curing process. If the meat sits in the liquid that is drawn off it can and will get tough and hard.

    Place the plastic container in the fridge uncovered and leave for seven (7) days. It is wise to check each or every second day to make sure that the meat is not sitting ing the liquid, if a large amount starts forming just drain off.

    On the fifth (5) day it is time to make the brine that we will place the meat in after it has been cured.

    Brine for Schinken:

    12 Lt water

    12g whole peppercorns

    6 large bay leaves

    2 medium onions [approx 575g when peeled]

    60g sugar

    10g whole cloves

    25g garlic [crushed/diced]

    60g whole juniper berries

    Place water and spices into a large pot, bring to a boil then simmer for two (2) hours.

    Allow to cool overnight.

    The following day strain the liquid into a clean container using a very fine strainer.

    Add 675g curing salt to the liquid and mix well

    After seven (7) days take the container out of the fridge and place by the sink. Take the meat which is now cured and place it in the sink one piece at a time and run lukewarm water over it scrubbing the meat lightly with your hands to get rid of the excess salt. When all pieces of meat have been washed wash out the plastic container, once this has been done place the pieces of meat you have just washed back into the plastic container. Cover the meat with cold water [if you cannot cover with cold water place meat in a clean container in which you can] and leave for twelve (12) hours.

    We used to soak for one (1) hour but I found that there was too much salt left in the product hence the twelve (12) hours.

    After the soaking period take out of the water and hang, let dry for at least an hour {it’s to get rid of the excess water]

    After the drying period replace into the container that you used to soak the meat, cover the meat with the brine that you made and place uncovered in the fridge making sure there are no exposed pieces of meat, Leave for seven (7) days. If the pieces are really large, leave in brine for nine (9) days.

    After seven (7) days take out of fridge and rinse with tepid water, then hang to dry for one (1) to two (2) days in a cool well ventilated place.

    Cold smoke for two (2) to four (4) days, I normally do four (4) days. 

    I usually give the product two (2) days of smoke at eight (8) hours a smoke we crack open the doors of the smokehouse overnight as we do not want the product to sweat. After the second (2) day we open the smokehouse doors to ventilate as well as to give the meat some well deserved rest. The third (3) day re-smoke for eight hours then open up the doors and give the meat another day of rest [fourth (4) day], the day after the fourth (4) day give the Schinken its final smoke [eight (8) hours.

    We now transfer the smoked Shinken to the drying room which is well ventilated with a steady flow of air; the temperature is between 10 and 15 degrees C. with relative humidity at around 65%


    This is part of my drying room

    After a given amount of time [there is no exact time frame as each place, time of year, weather conditions and probably a host of other things will and do come into affect] upon feeling [it’s a personal thing, you have to get to know your meat]. I go by feel; once the meat starts to firm up it is time to transfer it to the fridge.

    The advantage of transferring to a fridge is twofold;

    1. The lower the temperature is the slower the drying faze when it is hot.

    2. There is always higher humidity which in 99.9% of the time will prevent case hardening.


    I leave under these conditions until the product feels dry and firm to my touch and yes; if the product was to be weighed it will have lost the required amount of weight.

    The task is easy but time consuming and at the end of the day you will have something that you are proud off.

    There are people who do a lot better than I do [I know that for a fact] but each one of us can achieve great things if we put a little bit of ourselves into what we do.

    Hope I have not board you, what you see is a little insight of me as I do things the traditional way. 




    Hope this is of some help
  7. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That was great Robert. thanks for taking the time to write the tutorial
  8. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Great explanation,very clear ,detailed .great stuff. I think you have the same cure mix as you ours is called total cure.

  9. Glad to have done it, I do hope that it helps someone. There is other stuff but I need to feel my way around, by the way the cold smoked tastes better than the hot smoke so now need to build a cold smoker at my place
  10. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member



    Rather than post this awesome step-by-step and have it buried in another thread, start a new thread, and have Brian(Mod) move it over.

    Your post is worthy of it's own thread!!!

    Looks awesome!

  11. That was a great tutorial. Everyone here seems to have his or her own areas of expertise. Always something interesting to learn.

    My area is eating food. Any and all kinds of food. lol

    Happy Smokin'

  12. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Mate,with this amount of skill & knowledge you need your own spot. Really this is specialized top shelf stuff that needs to be on show for as many people as possible.Your knife skills & explanations are just mighty. LOVE IT.
  13. bearcarver

    bearcarver Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Thanks Brican!!!

    I agree---This should be on your own thread---(On Edit---Now it is).

    This is Awesome!!! 

    Your pictorial & tutorial is so well done!!!!!

    It had to take a lot of time.


    Last edited: Oct 26, 2011
  14. slownlow

    slownlow Smoking Fanatic

    Great job on this.  Thanks so much for all the detail.  Trust me you did not bore us.   [​IMG]
  15. Very interesting and thorough thread. I have thought about how to make prosciutto or speck. You make it look easy enough for us uninitiated to be able to do it. Thanks.
  16. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Not much to say other than excellent!

    From meat cutting to curing, it was just unbelievable.

    Thank-you for taking the time to do this.

    This is one of the best threads I have ever read!
  17. tjohnson

    tjohnson Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Insider OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    This should be a WIKI!!!

  18. solaryellow

    solaryellow Limited Mod Group Lead

    Great tutorial Robert!
  19. jc1947

    jc1947 Smoking Fanatic

    X2...Thank you for the step by.

  20. neutral

    neutral Fire Starter

    i for one will be trying this word for word and step by step. i pray that i dont screw it up. i love the deep rich smoky flavor of the various "specs" out there and hope to have a respectable product when i'm done. i fear i wont have lovely acorn fead sows to choose from but i will be butchering and cutting myself so that adds to the "pride factor" of having been involved in nearly all the steps. if i had the land i would raise the little piggys myself :) 


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