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Recipe Discussions => Non-Smoked Recipes => Topic started by: anderson5420 on November 14, 2009, 12:25:23 pm

Title: Dried Pork Loin, Part 1
Post by: anderson5420 on November 14, 2009, 12:25:23 pm
And now for something completely different! ~ Monty Python's Flying Circus
Charcuterie: The art of curing, smoking and drying meat

My friend Marc Grove of Wefings Marine, the C-Dory / Ranger Tug boat dealer in Apalachicola, FL, got me going on a couple of fun hobbies - coffee roasting and drying meat. If you are thinking about buying a C-Dory or a Ranger Tug, you might as well buy it from Marc! Anyway, over the last few months I have done a few batches of our favorite, dried pork loin. I took some pix in case this appeals to anybody else.

This is pretty easy and completely yummy, sort of our new favorite, you only need some pork loin, some Morton Tenderquick cure (available in many supermarkets), some gallon ziplock bags, and a place to hang the meat after it is cured. It needs to cure for about two weeks in the fridge and then hang for about three weeks to dry.

I start with a Costco pork loin, $1.85 a pound, about seven and half pounds for $13.82. The goal here is to find cheap pork! I have bought pork shoulder for between $0.89 and $1.49 a pound for sausage and coppa. Loin is usually a little more, but anything under $2.00 is good, especially since the finished product retails for $20 a pound or more! If you have a Costco nearby, that's the place!
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3333/3540280192_e369493ac4_m.jpg)

I cut the large piece into three pieces, because of the size of my drying cabinet. I usually wear latex gloves when I handle raw meat, since, well, it is just more sanitary.
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2283/3539450043_69d7836e67_m.jpg)

Then I rub it with Tenderquick. Tenderquick is a salt, sugar and cure (sodium nitrite and sodium nitrate) mixture.
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2423/3540904060_ef037a1370_m.jpg)
How much Tenderquick? Well, I really don't know, I don't measure, I just use enough to coat it well until it looks like this.
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2349/3539464219_4c52397fe0_m.jpg)

Finally it goes into the gallon ziplock bags and into the fridge.It will stay in the fridge for two weeks, getting turned over every other day. The cure will draw the moisture out of the meat, and it will firm up considerably.
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3616/3540461230_66f7ece8b0_m.jpg)

The next post will show what we do about two weeks later, when we will coat it with a spice mixture and hang it!
Title: Re: Dried Pork Loin, Part 2
Post by: anderson5420 on November 14, 2009, 12:35:31 pm
OK, we are now two weeks downstream from rubbing our pork loin pieces with Tenderquick and putting it in bags to cure in the fridge. Now the meat comes out of the fridge. It has become quite firm in the curing bags.

We are now going to remove it from the plastic bags and rinse it off with cold water. After rinsing it well, we are going to pat it dry with paper towels.
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2449/3580010563_232f42cc1f.jpg)

We have mixed up a spice mixture. The basic recipe for the spice mixture is 3 tbs sugar, 2
tbs coarse black pepper, 1 tbs ground coriander, 2 tsp garlic granules, 1 tsp mace, 1 tsp
allspice and 1 tsp ground juniper berries. (This is a slightly altered version of Sweet
Coppa Mixture from Charcuterie by Ruhlman and Polcyn). I made a triple batch. I used my
coffee grinder to grind the coriander and juniper berries.
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3358/3580824222_98bd3d517a.jpg)

Rub the spice mixture well all over the meat. It is a good idea to wear latex gloves while
handling the meat - you really don't want the bacteria on your hands getting on the meat!
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3603/3580009911_767f1a1c63.jpg)

Now the meat needs to be tied up and hung to dry. I used to use a wood cabinet, originally intended
for dehydrating foods, over a laundry sink with a dishpan full of salt water in it. The dishpan of salt water was to provide humidity. Where you live and what your natural conditions are will dictate what you do. The ideal temperature and humidity for drying meat is about 60 degrees F. and 60 - 70% humidity. The back part of my daylight basement is about 60 degrees F year round., Now I just hang it from the overhead gas pipe and really don't worry about the humidity. A humidity of around 50% seems to be OK, and when it is up around 70%, it seems to promote mold growth, so I would not worry if the humidity were on the low end.
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3397/3580823378_d3d03b9dc0.jpg)

Here is my cheap thermohygrometer, I got it at the hardware store for about $20. I really don't know how accurate it is, but it gives some kind of idea!
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3590/3580011217_e4689f0c0b.jpg)

We will leave the meat to dry for about 3 weeks. I will know when it is ready more by how it feels to the touch than anything else. You won't go wrong drying it for three weeks though. We will check it periodically for mold. White mold is fine but black or green mold is bad. If you get any black or green mold growing on your meat while it is drying, rub it with vinegar, pat it dry and put some more spice mixture on - and try to lower the humidity!

In the next post, we will take the meat from the drying cabinet, slice it paper thin and vacuum pack it to enjoy - never fear, it will be consumed long before it might spoil!
Title: Re: Dried Pork Loin, Part 1
Post by: Habanero Smoker on November 14, 2009, 01:41:28 pm
Looks like you are off to a good start.
Title: Re: Dried Pork Loin, Part 3
Post by: anderson5420 on November 14, 2009, 03:55:21 pm
OK, about five weeks before, we cut our Costco pork loin (about 7.5 lbs) into three pieces, rubbed each piece with Morton's Tenderquick cure, and put them in gallon bags in the fridge.  About two weeks later, we hung our cured and spiced pork loin to dry. Even though they had been hanging only a bit more than two weeks, I could tell they were ready to bring upstairs and slice, because they had no raw meat "give" or "squishiness." The drying conditions in my basement had changed as the heating season ended. The temperature had crept up from the low sixities to the high sixties, but the relative humidity had increased tremendously as well, so I moved the drying cabinet off the pan of water, and checked them every other day or so. There was a little mold on the dried loin pieces, which I wiped off with a clean towel wetted with vinegar.

Here is the dried meat after cleaning off the mold:
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3384/3635942319_ab83df8861.jpg)

It's really necessary to have a decent meat slicer if you are going to do charcuterie! After a bit of internet research, I settled on the "Chef's Choice 610 Premium Electric Food Slicer" (Edgecraft), as the best slicer around $100. The glowing reviews have proven warranted in our limited use of this little jewel so far.
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3306/3635955263_7bb186715f.jpg)

Here is the sliced meat on the tray.
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3632/3635959637_2cf79deacb.jpg)

Next, we arrange it nicely for vacuum packing. I need to find a supply of those nice gold foil faced cards, but in the meantime, we just arrange them on tinfoil and vacuum pack them.
(http://farm3.static.flickr.com/2476/3636781156_56da3607d3.jpg)

The final step is to vacuum pack in your Foodsaver or other vacuum packing machine. Vacuum packed cured and dried meat like this will keep indefinitely. Here is the final product, vacuum packed ready to store.
(http://farm4.static.flickr.com/3603/3637111969_9cd93b246e.jpg)

So that's pretty much it! This is a great delicacy! I'll send Marc at Wefings a package and we'll enjoy the rest!

Title: Re: Dried Pork Loin, Part 1
Post by: Habanero Smoker on November 15, 2009, 01:30:18 am
I may give this a try in the future. What color was the mold?
Title: Re: Dried Pork Loin, Part 3
Post by: deb415611 on November 15, 2009, 03:46:25 am

 I need to find a supply of those nice gold foil faced cards, but in the meantime, we just arrange them on tinfoil and vacuum pack them.





try this company, I think that several members have ordered from here.  If I remember correctly I received mine pretty quickly   http://www.amindle.com/index.html
Title: Re: Dried Pork Loin, Part 1
Post by: HCT on November 15, 2009, 06:04:55 am
Will definately give this a try. :)
Title: Re: Dried Pork Loin, Part 1
Post by: anderson5420 on November 15, 2009, 07:11:47 am
I may give this a try in the future. What color was the mold?

It was bluish-green, but it wiped off easily, and there was no mold taste, and this batch is but a fond memory.  Since I started hanging the meat from the gas pipe I have had no mold at all.
Title: Re: Dried Pork Loin, Part 1
Post by: Habanero Smoker on November 15, 2009, 01:42:42 pm
Yeah! That is one of the moles you want to get rid of. Generally white mole is safe, and if it develops on the meat it also helps prevent other molds from growing.
Title: Re: Dried Pork Loin, Part 1
Post by: HCT on November 20, 2009, 11:56:34 am
I just picked up a couple of loins, $1.19lb., I couldn't pass it up. Would have gotten more but the freezer is jammed. I did up 2 3lb. pieces to try this recipe. Hope it comes out as good as yours looks. :)
Title: Re: Dried Pork Loin, Part 1
Post by: anderson5420 on November 20, 2009, 12:47:14 pm
I just picked up a couple of loins, $1.19lb., I couldn't pass it up. Would have gotten more but the freezer is jammed. I did up 2 3lb. pieces to try this recipe. Hope it comes out as good as yours looks. :)

Good on ya!  I wish I could find loin around here that cheap!  I consider this pretty much a no-fail recipe now, I have numerous batches under my belt, and we always have some either curing or drying and occasionally both!  I suppose if you had really dry desert-like conditions and high temps it could be a challenge, but then you would invent a controlled environment drying chamber - I just happen to be lucky that our natural conditions here on the Upper Left Coast, and more particularly the micro-climate in my basement, seem to be OK most of the time.

Let us all know how it turns out for you!
Title: Re: Dried Pork Loin, Part 1
Post by: Oldman on November 20, 2009, 01:53:26 pm
Great thread...

Quote
60 - 70% humidity.
Wha is that?  ;D Not here~~!
Title: Re: Dried Pork Loin, Part 1
Post by: HCT on January 17, 2010, 04:19:58 pm
I didn't have any success with this recipe. I did everything as was explained, I even let it hang a few days longer. The loin looked great on the outside but when I cut it, it looked like and felt like raw meat.
I guess I'll just cut it into chops and cook it. What a waste, I was so looking forward to the end result.
Que cera. :)
Title: Re: Dried Pork Loin, Part 1
Post by: Habanero Smoker on January 18, 2010, 02:00:26 am
I didn't have any success with this recipe. I did everything as was explained, I even let it hang a few days longer. The loin looked great on the outside but when I cut it, it looked like and felt like raw meat.
I guess I'll just cut it into chops and cook it. What a waste, I was so looking forward to the end result.
Que cera. :)

That is a sign that the relative humidity (RH) was too low. If the meat cannot cure in an environment of 55% - 65% humidity the outside of the meat dries too fast, sealing in the moisture so that it cannot escape; this goes for sausage also. That is why I had to build a dry curing cabinet. In the winter my RH is generally in the 30 - 35% range, this morning it is 23%.

On the positive side, you are some what lucky, for lack of another word. :) Generally if moisture cannot escape, the center of the meat can spoil.
Title: Re: Dried Pork Loin, Part 1
Post by: HCT on January 18, 2010, 04:38:03 am
thanks Habs. This makes sense.
Title: Re: Dried Pork Loin, Part 1
Post by: 3rensho on January 18, 2010, 04:50:25 am
Quote
Generally if moisture cannot escape, the center of the meat can spoil.

Many books call this case hardening when the outside gets hard and traps the moisture leading to spoilage.  I avoid it when making salami by keeping RH at 70-75%.  I also pre-innoculate the sausage to be dried with white mold like the commercial makers do.
Title: Re: Dried Pork Loin, Part 1
Post by: anderson5420 on January 18, 2010, 09:00:58 am
I think Habs has it spot on.  See my PM to you...

thanks Habs. This makes sense.
Title: Re: Dried Pork Loin, Part 1
Post by: Habanero Smoker on January 18, 2010, 01:40:36 pm
Quote
Generally if moisture cannot escape, the center of the meat can spoil.

Many books call this case hardening when the outside gets hard and traps the moisture leading to spoilage.  I avoid it when making salami by keeping RH at 70-75%.  I also pre-innoculate the sausage to be dried with white mold like the commercial makers do.

Thanks for the tips. Because of my high humidity problems in my cabinet, the next time I dry cure I may also pre-inoculate.
Title: Re: Dried Pork Loin, Part 1
Post by: HCT on January 19, 2010, 05:11:20 am
Thanks again all. What is the name of the mold/inoculator you use? 
Title: Re: Dried Pork Loin, Part 1
Post by: Habanero Smoker on January 19, 2010, 01:35:41 pm
Thanks again all. What is the name of the mold/inoculator you use? 

The inoculate will not solve your problem because it is due to low humidity. The inoculate is a culture of friendly white mold that is sprayed on the outside of the meat or sausage, and gives it a head start over other mold and bacteria that can be harmful. This white mold is beneficial because it grows rapidly and prevents other more harmful molds and bacteria to get a chance to grow. For me it would be helpful, because my dry curing cabinet humidity levels averaged in the mid-80% RH.