Thursday, May 20, 2010

Cured Pork Shoulder - from store to cure

I happened to stop at Sheridan Meats in Portland a few weeks ago, and while chatting up the butcher who was cutting my lamb leg off a nice lamb carcass, noticed that they were having a sale on boneless pork shoulders, wrapped up in netting.

These are mainly prepared for hours long braising or smoking he said, but I decided to grab two and give them a shot at curing.  They sort of look like they'd make good stuff.

I bought two of them ( each about 3.25 lbs ), and brought them home to meet my curing chamber.

I'm using my standar curing mix  with the following addition

2tbsp cayenne pepper
2tbsp smoked spanish paprika
2tbsp hot hungarian paprika
2 tbsp fennel seed
2tbsp chili de arbol

I gave it a good rubdown, reaching far inside the meat to make sure everything was well coated.

Then it's into ziploc bags for 2 weeks, turning over every few days

Of course, family emergency cuts into our life and we leave for the East Coast for 10 days.

Here's a shot of the shoulder on May 17th, after 18 days in the cure. 
Notice the beautiul coloring.   I'm estimating that weight loss was about 1/4 of a pound by the amount of brine in the bag.

I rerubbed with the cure, coating throroughly and placed them back in the bag.

I noticed last night that there is additional brine and they're really firming up.

I'll be taking them out of the cure this weekend ( 5/22 or 23) and then hanging them for 4-6 weeks.

Since I have two of them, I'll experiment.  One will go directly into the curing chamber with only a good rinsing off.
The Second will get a complete soak with change of water for 2-4 hours, then a reapplication of the hot spices.

Let's see how they turn out!!!


  1. Looks good Todd. I'm slightly jealous of your awesome access to butchers and great meat. Most of the grocery store buthers we have up here in Bellingham are hopeless. I'll be heading down your way to get some meat from Tails & Trotters sometime in the next month or so.

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  3. That is a lot of heat Todd! Sliced super thin this is gonna be nice! How much salt in the cure? Keep it up. I hope to get some more larger things going once I can get around the kitchen again!

  4. Thanks Darrin:

    I think the amount of salt for 6.5lbs of meat was close to 1.5lbs.. although much of it falls off the meat when it's rubbed in.

    I've been consistently doing well with the Whole Muscle curing.. now I'm ready to try salames and sausages!!

  5. Hi Todd,

    Stumbled onto your blog while looking up cured meats. Can't seem to find a post bragging about the finished pork shoulder, how'd it come out? Also, looks like you're drying at room temp, how's that work out for you? I have access to commercial equip and refrigeration, but maybe it's not needed?

  6. Hi PL Mike.. this one was a big fail

    I think It's posted sometime this past summer.

    I have a curing chamber that i use, but most of my curing happens during the winter/spring/fall months when my "mancave" stays a pretty constant 60 degrees/30% or so humidity. I've been having pretty good success so I'll stick with that Until I get off my butt and buy another large fridge to do all my curing in.