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Salt Pork - anyone know how?

Discussion in 'Curing' started by waywardswede, Oct 28, 2013.

  1. I just ordered some pork bellies, going to try my hand at some bacon.  But I also have a recipe for a traditional Swedish dish called pult (not sure if that's spelled right, but that's how we say it), it's something we make probably 4 or 5 times a year.  It calls for salt pork, and while I can find it locally the quality is just horrible.  I was thinking of setting aside some of the belly to make some of my own, but I can't find good information on doing it.

    The instructions I'm finding are along the lines of 'throw some pork belly in a bucket with some salt', which is a little vague for my liking.  Anyone ever make any, of have something a little more precise than that?

    Any help would be greatly appreciated!
  2. radio

    radio Smoking Fanatic

    Found a vid on Youtube that shows the basics like it was done for centuries

    Dang it!  Wouldn't let me embed the video for some reason and no outside links are allowed.  I will send the URL via PM
  3. Hello WatwardSwede.  I haven't tried this yet but it is on my list to do.  Sorry but the picts will not paste or upload.  I can e-mail the document with picts if you need it.  Hope it helps.  Keep Smokin!



    1.5kg piece of belly pork

    350g rough sea salt

    2 bay leaves, chopped up small

    6 juniper berries, squished lightly

    2 sprigs of thyme

    2 cloves, squished lightly

    75g soft brown sugar


        Mix together the salt, sugar, herbs and spices in a clean bowl.

        Use about a quarter of this mix to coat the bottom of your container. It mustn’t be metal – we use a ceramic roasting dish. If you have something with a lid even better; if you have a large crock with a lid, better still!

        Rinse the piece of pork under the cold tap and then pat it dry with a clean muslin or clean tea towel.

        Take a handful of the seasoned salt and rub it well, pretty firmly, into the skin side of the pork. Once you’ve done this, turn the meat over and rub the same kind of amount into the flesh side, but do this more gently.

        Put your piece of pork, skin side up, on top of the salt in your container and pack in the rest of the salt mix round the sides and over the top.

        Put a very clean plate (or boiled bit of wood) on top of the pork and put some weights (not too many, say about 1/2 kg to 1 kg – if you don’t have weights use water in plastic bottles, or tinned food) on top.

        Cover it – we wrapped the container in two very clean tea towels, one lengthwise & the other widthwise.

        Leave it in a dark, cool place for 3-4 days before checking. You should see that the juices from the meat have combined with the salt to make a dark brine:

    (Give it a sniff to find out it’s ok, and check to make sure there aren’t any mouldy bits on the surface of the brine. It should be fine – if the brine does look manky, what I’d do is make up some more of the flavoured salt, remove the pork from the brine, rinse it, dry it, wash out the container with some hot soda solution, and try rubbing it again.)

        You could start using it at this point – it will last about a week and will have quite a mild cure.

        Or leave it be for longer – it will be done after 8 days and the longer you leave it, the saltier it will get. Jane Grigson mentions that some instructions for petit salé say to leave it for 2-3 months! But she also says that it will be done if you give it 4 days per inch thickness.

        We did ours for just under two weeks. And we ended up with something that had been transformed by the salt & sugar:
  4. Thanks for the PM radio, I checked the video and it was actually helpful, don't think I had seen that one before.  Still a bit vague in parts (floating an egg to test the brine), and I was really surprised to see him pour hot brine on the meat, I don't think I would do that.  One good idea was using a shoulder instead of the belly, one of the problems with the store bought salt pork is the abundance of fat that you get.
  5. This sounds a bit more like what I was looking for.  One question, you mention keeping it in a cool, dark place, will a 36-38 degree refrigerator work for that?  I'm in the northeastern US, so it's starting to get cooler now, my garage is probably staying in the high 40's to mid 50's most days, but I can't control that temperature.

    I see you're in the UK, I hope you're not in the path of that storm we're hearing about.  Stay safe!
  6. Hello.  As I stated I have not yet tried this.  IMHO I think when you start adding bay,juniper berries etc, you are starting to get an unsmoked bacon flavour.  I intend to just use the salt sugar cure.  Pops brine should also work well  (post below ).  Dry cure or brine cure.  I am originally from TX. but have lived here almost 15 yrs. now.  The folks down south ( near London ) got hammered pretty good.  Couple folks were killed.  I live in the middle of the country.  We were braced for it but it never came this far north.  Little wind and rain.  Let us know how it turns out.  Keep Smokin!


  7. daveomak

    daveomak Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    From a reputable source.....


    Between 10º and 20º degrees the eggs layed prety much on the bottom. At 30º degrees they tried to float when touched with fingers. The first ones to raise of the bottom were X-Large White and Large-Brown at 35º degrees. They were also the first ones to break the surface at 40º degrees. The most defined point 45º degrees when all eggs swam to the surface.

    To calculate the strength of the brine using the floating egg or potato method makes very little sense as the readings are not reliable. There are books that advocate this method and each of them give different readings. The egg sinks in clean water and as the salt is added it should start lifting to the surface. Well, they do but in a very unpredictable manner. We have checked the floating egg method using five different size fresh eggs and the results were inconclusive.
  8. pops6927

    pops6927 Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    We always made our own salt pork by brining our bellies and just taking a slab and cut it up after brining but before smoking.  The process is fresh belly (or sidepork), pickled belly (saltpork), then finished belly (bacon).  Use Pop's brine and just cure it or any pork and then it's salt pork.  You can add a multitude of flavorings of your choice for salt pork or bacon, but the basic recipe is pink salt, brown and white sugar, salt and water.
  9. Pops

    Thanks, I have some CB in your brine right now.

    So belly in the brine for 10-14 days, rinse, and use? Can I freeze it, or do I need to use it in a certain time frame?