Tuesday, 26 March 2013

In a Pickle

 Pickling liquor for pork.

Just recently I was rummaging in the freezer and realised I had a pork tongue that was getting on a bit, and a pork belly with damaged packaging, so I decided to pickle them. As always when confronted with curing meat, I consulted that hefty tome, Meat, by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall. Just as I thought, he provided the ideal solution: mix together 2.5 l water, 250 g light brown sugar, 750 g coarse salt, ½ tsp black peppercorns, ½ tsp juniper berries, 2 cardamom pods, 2 bay leaves and a sprig of thyme, then bring to the boil for a couple of minutes.

The pickled meat soaking in fresh water overnight. 

The meat is then placed in a plastic box and the cold pickling liquor poured over the top. This stays in the refrigerator for a week, being turned daily. After the week is up, the meat will be stiff because of all the liquid that the salt in the pickling liquor has drawn out. Drain the liquor off and discard. Flush the meat with fresh cold water and leave to soak overnight, otherwise it will be too salty to eat.

Now it's ready to cook. Put it in a stockpot with chunks of vegetables such as carrots and leeks, a couple of bay leaves and some black peppercorns. Cover with fresh water and simmer for 2 - 3 hours.

Once cooked the tongue should be peeled while still warm. It can be sliced and eaten warm with lentils or cold with salads or in sandwiches. The pork belly should be cut into thick slices and served as petit salé. Use the flavourful cooking liquor to also cook the lentils.
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Loire Valley Nature Updates: a new entry for Cyclamen Cyclamen hederifolium has been added.
A new entry for Water Crowfoot Ranunculus (Batrachium) spp has been added.
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Other nature news: for those of you interested in the plight of our pollinators you might like to read Bees, Lies and Evidence-based Policy, an article in Nature by Lynn Dicks, from the Natural Environment Research Council in the UK.
You may also like this TED talk on how flies fly.
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Orchard News: Peaches and nectarines just out. Parsley putting on leaves and bulking up, enough to harvest some. I was going to do some digging yesterday, but we had surprise visitors (more about that later).
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MAJOR ANNOYANCE: My key for the Renault has disappeared. I last definitely had it on Thursday when I went down to the orchard. All I can think is that it fell out of my bag in Tours or Chatellerault on Friday or Saturday, both days when only Simon drove and he used his key.

6 comments:

SweetpeainFrance said...

Do you have a strong magnet with which to retravel where you might have lost your key? It will return! Do you have a spare?

Tim said...

If you haven't, I can probably lend you one! I think I know which box it is in...

"Meat" is a Hoof book we haven't got... yet. But given the bargains there are around here, on good quality meat, from time to time, perhaps we ought... we only use a tabletop freezer for the meat.

And... you are still showing a day late on the sidebar... currently "Coltsfoot" '1 day ago' [10.21am]

Susan said...

Sweetpea: I don't have a magnet, and I don't think retracing my steps is practical. Simon has a key, but we don't have a spare.

Tim: you are welcome to borrow Meat. I've checked your blog and today I am showing up a day late, like you said. Dunno what the story is.

GaynorB said...

Losing a key is a real pain as it's surprising how often the other half goes off with the only key!

A friend once lost a set of keys and she estimated it cost her about £650 to replace and change locks etc. Her security conscious partner half was not pleased.

I haven't eaten tongue for many years. My mother would regularly cook one when I was growing up.

Food, Fun and Life in the Charente said...

We love tongue and this sound delicious. Thanks.
Hope you find your key, I lost a gold earring last weekend in Chasseneuil, one of my Mums, so sentimental value as well as being gold. Have asked all over but it has not appeared :-(
Have a good Easter. Diane

the fly in the web said...

When in France and before that in the U.K. I kept a brine tub for odd bits of pork...topping up on the salt as meat was taken out.
My recipes were those from Farmers' Weekly collected into book form.

Too hot here to do that safely, unfortunately!

I make bacon and ham...but it means occupying room in the fridge which is already overloaded with maturing cheese, never mind the ordinary things of life...

Good luck with the key.