Custom99, evening.... Yes the meat is perfectly normal.... It will not take on the red, pinkish color until the meat comes up to approx 145 degrees F..... If you have any concerns, I will PM you my address and even pay the shipping ..... ... I know you won't do it now that I explained the real deal..... Cook, smoke and enjoy the brisky.... Dave
Cured Meat Color
The color of the cured meat depends on the type of meat, nitrite and cooking temperature. Meat color is determined largely by the amount of myoglobin (protein) a particular animal carries. The more myoglobin the darker the meat, that simple. This color is pretty much fixed and there is not much we can do about it unless we mix different meats together. Cured meats develop a particular pink-reddish color due to the reaction that takes place between meat myoglobin and nitrite.
If an insufficient amount of Nitrate/nitrite is added to the meat the cured color will suffer. This may be less noticeable in sausages where the meat is ground and stuffed but if we slice a larger piece like a ham, the poorly developed color will be easily noticeable. Some sections may be gray, some may be pink and the meat will not look appetizing. To check your cured meats, take a sample, cut across it and look for uniform color. About 50 ppm (parts per million) of nitrite is needed for any meaningful curing. Some of it will react with myoglobin and will fix the color, some of it will go into other complex biochemical reactions with meat that develop a characteristic cured meat flavor. If we stay within Food and Drug Administration guidelines (1 oz. Cure #1 per 25 lbs of meat - about 1 level teaspoon of Cure #1 for 5 lbs of meat) we are applying 156 ppm of nitrite which is enough and safe at the same time. Cured meat will develop its true cured color only after submitted to cooking (boiling, steaming, baking) at 140-160° F (60-71° C). The best color is attained at 161° F (72° C).
http://www.wedlinydomowe.com/sausage-making/curing Here is the full page.... Enjoy.... Dave