Benton’s Country Ham In The Texas Morning Light

Last night we put 10lbs of pork shoulder in a salty, sodium nitrite brine. It only takes 48 hours of wet-curing to turn raw pork into Cajun tasso ham. We’re penning a recipe later this week. The Tasso is our contribution to a wedding party. The couple are getting married on the 10th anniversary of their first date.

And they love ham.

The World Butcher’s Challenge is taking place in Belfast, Ireland in March of next year. Bryan Butler, the best butcher in the state of Texas is anchoring the team of US meat cutters who will be waging war over the seas. You certainly know Mr. Butler as he is the head meat man and co-owner of Salt and Time in Austin.

The myth of ‘uncured’ cured meat continues apace. Let’s be clear. If you use celery juice, rich in sodium nitrate, instead of pink curing salt, you are still curing meat with nitrites. Do you really believe that ‘uncured’ bacon is just that: uncured? Bacon is cured pork belly. Period. Here’s a good article on the matter from the Chicago Tribune.

The myth of perfection is ably discussed in this report from the Nordic Culinary Conference. We love the fussy, well-thought out modernist cuisine that’s so popular right now but our hearts really belong to ‘back of the stove’ cooking, and all the hot pot cooks taking a smoke break behind meat and threes stretched out across the Deep South.

We caught a lot of flack over our Robert Sietsema Shits The Bed post that we penned way back in 2013. Author Robert Sietsema made some specious claims on the primacy of NYC barbecue and we felt the need to point them out. Recently the man wrote a good historical piece on pastrami in New York City.

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