So another post about pork I hear you say, yes pork three ways, I admit that over the years I have done one or two posts on all manners of pork from a slow roast to trotters and terrines. I have been very lucky over the years in having access to some fantastic local pork, all free range and generally native breeds.
When i seen a post on Twitter from Martha Roberts who breeds and rears her own pigs on the local hillside saying she had some pork available I dropped her a message and placed an order for a shoulder joint, a belly joint and a loin.
As always when I know I am going to be getting hold of some good quality meat my mind goes into overdrive about what I am going to do with it.
The shoulder and belly were destined for long slow cooks, the choice was traditional oven, wood oven or smoker. The loin I had already made my mind up on that and it was destined to be bacon, dry cured traditional bacon. I do not often cold smoke at this time of the year so no smoked bacon this time around.
So Sunday came around and it was destined to be pork Sunday, old smokey was set up for the shoulder and belly. I had two very different rubs set for the two joints. For the shoulder I was going for a Memphis style rub, in Memphis the rub is all important as they tend not to use sauces as much as other areas. The recipe below is my go to pulled pork rub.
- 1/2 cup / 8 tbsp paprika
- 1/4 cup / 4 tbsp garlic powder
- 1/4 cup / 4 tbsp mild chili powder(use medium or hot to kick up the heat)
- 3 tablespoons salt
- 3 tablespoons black pepper
- 2 tablespoons onion powder
- 2 tablespoons celery seeds
- 1 tablespoon brown sugar
- 1 tablespoon dried oregano
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 tablespoon cumin
- 2 teaspoons dry mustard
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 2 teaspoons ground allspice
For the belly I went with the rub below, I make this in batches and keep it in a shaker for all things from chicken to steak.
- 1/2 cup / 8 tbsp paprika
- 1/4 cup / 4 tbsp kosher salt, finely ground
- 1/4 cup / 4 tbsp sugar
- 2 tablespoons mustard powder
- 1/4 cup / 4 tbsp chili powder ( I use a fairly mild one )
- 1/4 cup / 4 tbsp ground cumin
- 2 tablespoons ground black pepper
- 1/4 cup / 4 tbsp granulated garlic
- 2 tablespoons cayenne
The skin was taken off both joints and set aside to make pork scratching, I will be doing a separate post on the method I use to make the best scratching in the world. The two joints were liberally covered in the rub and set aside while the smoker was set up and the charcoal lit.
For all my BBQ cooking i use a ProQ, they are superb tools for the job be it direct, indirect, hot smoking or cold smoking.
I set the smoker up to 110c using lumpwood charcoal, i only use high quality lumpwood, no instant light chemical laden rubbish that taints the food. I had a few lumps of beech wood that I like to use with pork and chicken as it does not overpower the meat.
While the belly and shoulder were happily sat in the smoker getting a nice low and slow cook I was sorting out the loin that i was curing for bacon. I use a very simple cure that consists of sea salt, dark muscovado sugar, cracked black pepper and fennel seeds. I do not use pink salt or any other “cure”. The act of curing is to use salt to draw out moisture from the product that you are curing. My number one tip for anyone curing pork for bacon at home is to get the very best pork you can, free range, not factory farmed meat laced with antibiotics and who knows what else.
Once covered in the cure the loin is placed into a container and placed in the fridge, turn daily for around about a week, a small amount of liquid will collect in the container, this is the process of curing at work, drawing out the moisture from the meat.
So that is my pork three ways, i shall update the post with more pictures once the bacon is cured and i slice it for some awesome bacon sarnies and a good fry up.
Once again I have to thank Martha for the pork which is reared with love and the end product shows that, If you want to know more about Martha’s fantastic produce follow the link and drop her a line.
Until next time remember cooking is not difficult when you have fantastic produce to use.