This afternoon we set a pork belly that will dry cure for three days, at which point it will be braised in chicken stock for 7-8 hours, at 200F. For the dry rub we followed a Dan Barber recipe that had a really aromatic cure mix. We're excited...


nemajo said...

So, what is the next step? Just wrap and put in the fridge for three days?

Curious what is the advantage of the advantage of the three day cure.. and, would it be a good idea to do the with pork shoulders (Boston but) or briskets?



Ali and Evan said...

Thanks for writing Nemajo,

The next step is to wrap the belly. I wrap it in plastic, and then in paper. I am trying to deprive the belly of both oxygen and light by wrapping it this way.

After three days it will be rinsed and then braised in a chicken stock. The advantage of doing a cure like this is twofold: First, I am trying to help the muscle enzymes in the meat to generate flavor. As the meat ages, enzymes work to break down cell molecules into smaller fragments which taste downright delicious (McGee, On Food and Cooking).

Also, this salt cure works to help tenderize the meat, and make it easier for collagen to dissolve into gelatin when I am doing the braise.

This same rub would certainly work with pork shoulders or briskets, bigger is definitely better with this style of cooking (dry aging, followed by slow braising). Of course, you do have to be able to plan ahead and know that you will be cooking a given cut of meat on a certain night.

Tim D. Roth said...

Mmmmmm, belly fetish. Please alert us when this is ready to be devoured. I've been more ravenously eating lovingly prepared non-veg items recently, for some odd reason. Love, Tim.

nemajo said...

Thanks! I will definitely give it a try next time I put meat on the smoker... That rub sounds good too. I wish I could come by an try yours but... alas, I am in Texas.

Thanks again!

Neil (aka nemajo)