Archive for May, 2014

An early start to curing

Last year’s bresaola was sufficiently successful that I was determined to get an early start to curing this year.

First to be finished is a pork belly. I did a half salt, half sugar cure with instacure #2, black pepper and garlic powder for two weeks in the fridge, changing the cure half way through. This was a cure-in-the-bag arrangement, so it started dry and became wet with the extracted moisture.

This was followed by two months under the house wrapped in muslin. The finished product was inedibly salty but a day in fresh water fixes that. I think the extra salt was probably what let me get away with curing while the temperatures were a bit too high.

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The finished product! Now that it’s winter we’re not getting any eggs from our hens, so it’s nice to have something else home made on the plate.

Note that this is not a “how to cure”. I don’t have enough experience to help someone else do this: it’s just a record of my own experiments. If you intend to cure at home, I’d recommend getting a good book or doing a lot of googling.

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Autumn 2014

It’s autumn again; almost winter. New baby is 6 months. We lost a cat to a snake bite but we have a new cat now. All of the summer veg is out and winter crops are in, hopefully not too late to germinate.

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The basil is under a makeshift cloche: Jerusalem artichoke stems tied together to make a frame, with a plastic bag over them.

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This is the kids genuinely helping to harvest said artichokes! Miss 5 even helped to scrub them.

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In another bed, we have silver beet and rainbow chard just starting again, self seeded from last year’s crop. Silver beet is our most reliable winter veg, but it’s hard to get the kids to eat it.

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Miss 5 gave me a sticker for my hard work.

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