Techniques

The Salt Cure

By The Editors


Published on October 25, 2007

Petit sale, or salted pork (not to be confused with salt pork), readily available at charcuteries in France, is a rarity in this country—so when we needed some for our bistro-style Petit Sale Aux Pommes De Terre, we decided to make our own. We found a recipe for curing pigs' feet in Jacques Pepin's The Art of Cooking, Volume II (Knopf, 1988), and adapted it to the purpose. Mix together 2 cups kosher salt, 1/2 cup sugar, 2 tbsp. cracked black pepper, 1 tsp. saltpeter, and 1/2 tsp. dried thyme leaves in a medium bowl and set aside. Rinse a total of 5 lbs. of pork shoulder and pork loin ribs, with chine (backbone) cracked, under cold water, then pat dry. Add meat to a large deep bowl or pot. Rub prepared salt into meat (most will dissolve into a salty brine as meat cures). Cover bowl or pot with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 4 days, turning meat and rubbing it with undissolved salt and brine several times a day, then rinse meat and cook as your recipe directs.

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