Curing previously frozen pork belly?

Air dried cured Meat Techniques

Re: Curing previously frozen pork belly?

Postby NCPaul » Thu Apr 14, 2016 7:51 pm

Here's my advise for skinning belly. First, sharp knife. Second, the free hand must always stay behind the knife. With the skin facing up, start slicing with long strokes at the corner. When you are about two inches in, you should be able to grab the skin with your free hand and pull on it. Use the last inch of your knife and angle it upwards. You should be able to push the knife towards the end away from you. Adjust your free hand to follow to maintain tension on the skin (never in front of the knife). If you have too much of the knife trying to cut, you will need too much force. Try not to saw (sometimes can't be helped). Fourth, no beer until you are done. :D
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Re: Curing previously frozen pork belly?

Postby johngaltsmotor » Thu Apr 14, 2016 8:02 pm

Sounds about like I'd expect. Maybe I'm just paranoid because it's something new and I'm afraid of getting this far and screwing up the last step :oops:
I did cheat this morning. I trimmed off one of the edges and diced it and fried it up with eggs. MMmmmm..... :drool:
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Re: Curing previously frozen pork belly?

Postby Swing Swang » Thu Apr 14, 2016 9:44 pm

johngaltsmotor wrote: I think next time I'll pay the extra 10cents/pound to get them already skinned (and hopefully they don't remove too much of that glorious fat along with it...)


Now this is completely off-topic but that really hard rind from a cured bit of bacon makes really great rat/mouse bait as it can be cut to fit into your traps without wiring it on, and lasts for rat after rat after rat without needing to be replaced, and if they get bored with it a smear of peanut butter makes it appealing again.
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Re: Curing previously frozen pork belly?

Postby wheels » Fri Apr 15, 2016 12:05 am

Now that IS the voice of experience! :lol: :lol:
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Re: Curing previously frozen pork belly?

Postby johngaltsmotor » Fri Apr 15, 2016 11:12 am

Swing Swang, are you talking about after it's been cut off and further dried for a while? Just wondering because after curing and smoking the skin on these is more supple than my skin still :-p (must have been a well cared for pig)
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Re: Curing previously frozen pork belly?

Postby Swing Swang » Fri Apr 15, 2016 6:11 pm

I mean if the skin is cut off only after the bacon has been dry cured/smoked/dried when it is as tough as full grain boot leather
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Re: Curing previously frozen pork belly?

Postby johngaltsmotor » Fri Apr 15, 2016 7:10 pm

Just checking. Never having made bacon I was afraid I'd done something less than ideal if the skin was supposed to be that stiff already.
I guess after removing the skin I'll leave it hang until well dried and use it for dog treats. Maybe give it another round of smoke in a few weeks (or fry it up as pork rind if I get antsy).
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Re: Curing previously frozen pork belly?

Postby NCPaul » Fri Apr 15, 2016 7:38 pm

For cold smoked bacon, I take the skin off before curing and smoking. After boiling and grinding fine, the skin can be used in some sausages to improve their texture. Other recipes will reference "rind emulsion" for the collagen solution that comes from the boiled skin. Another option is to use it in cassoulet. Never considered the mouse trap idea. :D
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Re: Curing previously frozen pork belly?

Postby onewheeler » Sat Apr 16, 2016 11:29 am

A nice bit of crispy fried rind on the bacon makes it even better :drool:
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Re: Curing previously frozen pork belly?

Postby johngaltsmotor » Mon Apr 18, 2016 11:50 am

:oops: That's the closest I see to a dunce cap smiley...
So I had 2 bellies cut in half smoked and ready to skin. I finished the first 3. I grabbed the 4th and final one and saw something different... The reason I was so concerned about being able to trim off the skin.... because they were already skinned :-p The guy who got them said they weren't and never having worked with bellies to know the difference I just believed him. It wasn't until I saw these 2 little postage stamp size patches that I recognized as leather that I realized I'd just wasted a half hour and had trimmed off the smokiest outer fat... DOHT!!
Oh well, it tastes phenomenal.
What finished weight do you guys end up with? I realize I lost a pound or so to my "skin" trimming error but I started with 22lb and packaged 17lb, so I lost 5lb of moisture (22%) during that week of hanging in the salami fridge. Does that sound about typical?
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Re: Curing previously frozen pork belly?

Postby wheels » Mon Apr 18, 2016 12:52 pm

Oops, never mind. :lol: :lol: :lol:

The important thing is that you like the end product. As for weight loss, I find it to be variable so wouldn't like to say what's typical. I take it that the 22% includes curing, maturing and trimming?

Phil
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Re: Curing previously frozen pork belly?

Postby johngaltsmotor » Mon Apr 18, 2016 1:10 pm

Yes, We started with 22 pounds fresh and had 14 one-pound packages plus roughly a pound we didn't package, a pound of "skin" and I may have trimmed off a pound of edges to make them straight in preparation for the slicer (I think those fried up the tastiest). So if I had weighed them after maturing I'd have been about 17 pounds. So between adding curing salt and going in the vacuum sealed bags it lost 22% as moisture.
I figured during curing they were in zip top bags so they couldn't lose any there so it must have been during maturing - not surprising with that much surface area.
I'm not complaining, the way I see it, losing weight just means the flavor is more concentrated :-D But the guy who prompted this adventure seems to think we could sell enough to friends to cover the costs and get our share for free. So I just want to make sure I didn't have the humidity too low and needlessly dry them out.
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