Tuesday, 23 October 2012


I've been a bit busy with work so haven't updated in a while. I thought I'd bring you all up to speed with how things are going (or how's they've finished in fact). I cured the pork leg according to the instructions linked in the previous post. I wasn't sure about leaving it for rest for one month  when making lonzino it goes straight from cure to hanging after being washed. I'm assuming the resting contributes to the flavour (although if it'd going to hang for 6-12 months, does an extra month 'resting' at 4°C make a difference?). If someone knows why it should rest please let me know!

There was a bit of nitrate burn on the leg (lower right on the picture below)  this is something I've read about but never actually seen: it comes from leaving the meat in the extracted curing liquor for too long. I'll definitely make sure any meat is now raised off the base slightly in future to prevent it sitting in its own juices.

It burns! I'm melting etc

Now, I'm no butcher, but it seemed to me that the leg (as received from the supermarket) naturally divided itself into three. I portioned the leg up appropriately, weighed the pieces, then put them in the fridge to develop a pellicle ahead of smoking. The pieces were cold smoked over beech for four runs, each around 10-12 hours (using the ProQ generator and left to hang in the smoker in between runs). I then hung them up in the curing chamber to dry.

The Three Muskateers. Porthos has let himself go a bit.
The smaller pieces were ready in a couple of weeks. The outside is a little dry in places (easily cut off and removed), but the inside has dried nicely. It has a good, strong smoky flavour and is delicious on pizza, on some good bread bread, or simply scoffed on its own.

Tasty stuff
All this actually happened a few weeks ago, so technically I'm from the future. Now the larger piece has also reached the correct weight loss. I haven't cut it open yet, but as soon as I do I'll give you another update.  


  1. Max, this looks great...making me hungry!

    Good to hear the proQ worked it's magic. I need to get me a proper chamber so I can take on beasts like this...

    1. Thanks! My chamber has been playing up a bit recently - keeping the humidity right is proving to be a real pain. I thinking of making some Toulouse sausages next