Unlike our forebears, we at least have the convenience of refrigeration to allow the process of preparing all these products over a period of days. On the downside that means you don’t get the whole community/family dropping by to help with the processing – ah the loneliness of the long-distance preserver.
The pig is always TB’s project while I cheer him on from the sidelines and give taste evaluations as necessary. He does all the important calculations for the brining and seasoning, not to mention all the hot and cold smoking.
We draw on lots of different curing traditions to preserve our pig. TB is making family favourites such as lap yuk, sometimes called Chinese bacon, and pork bones as well as some of the more common European products. Just in time for this year’s curing TB has found another book by those ‘gods’ of charcuterie Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn, called Salumi: The Craft of Dry Curing (Norton 2012). I’m looking forward to my favourite frankfurters and some tasty smoked hocks for hearty winter soups.
Luckily some of these products are processed quite quickly. We have already been eating one of the small hams and last Sunday we had a streaky vs Canadian bacon taste off. The only trouble was that I was so busy tasting that I forgot to take a photo. Maybe next time.