Salt-cured Pork for bold flavors
As far back as I can remember, containers filled with salt and meat were always lining up on my grandmother’s kitchen shelves and sometimes in the fridge.
Fresh pork cuts that mostly included feet, knees, tails and/or ears were left to macerate in those containers for days or even weeks in anticipation of future meals that would tantalize our taste buds.
Indeed, salt-cured pork is the secret to many Haitian staples. From the famous tchaka at the basis of this blog’s name, which recipe I shall soon give you, to our touffe legume or simply pye kochon (pork feet), salt-cured pork is one of the best meats to use to enhance our soups and stews’ flavors. The fattier cuts are chopped into small pieces and used as lardon that flavor our diri kole and sòs pwa as well.
As a child, I was not truly fond of those small cuts. I do however recall everyone at the family table fighting over those tiny pieces of pork when rice was served. I must admit that it wasn’t until recently that I discovered the joy of eating the pork feet out of our beloved tchaka or even the pye kochon dish that is also quite popular here.
Thing is, I had failed to realize that the wonderful flavors of those meals actually came from the salt-cured meat. The longer the cuts were left to macerate in salt, the more their flavors developed and the bolder the meal.
Try it for yourself. I leave you here with the quick steps to making your own salt-cured pork. I am confident it will help you discover a wonderful world of flavors.
To those who are still longing for the tchaka recipe, I say, master the art of salt-curing your pork meat. It will be worth the wait.
- Fresh pork cuts skin on
- Rock Salt
- Combine the rock salt, meat and thyme in a tight container
- Cover and let macerate for a couple of days
- Use the salt-cured meat to enhance your food preparations.