Homemade sourdough is so April. Try your hand at home-cured meat!

Originally published at: https://boingboing.net/2020/06/03/homemade-sourdough-is-so-april.html

Take a piece of beef. Wrap it in TP lightly coated with 70% IPA gel. Isolate in front of a TV with Netflix for 6 weeks.

I call it the Covid Cure.

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Curing meats at home is really not a great idea. They require a specific balance of temp and humidity to not breed really nasty pathogens. Think of how many times you open your fridge every day. No bueno.

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A South African friend made biltong with beef strips hanging on paper clips, inside an old computer case, using the heat of a light bulb.

It was excellent.

Lots of people do it regularly. Hell shit like bacon and corned beef can be done in less that a week, requires no special equipment, and no strict control of temp or humidity.

What is more complicated is drying and aging things, and to a certain extent cold smoking. This is still safe as nitrates and nitrites cover the vast majority of nastyness. But it requires knowledge, in the form of accurate formulas, measurements and recipes. And special equipment that isn’t exactly easy to rig up. Temperature and humidity controlled cure chambers and smokers with accurate, stable low temperature settings.

Much of the risk is in dry cured sausages and other force meats. Whole muscles are sterile in their interior, which makes things a lot simpler.

There are some simple, whole muscle recipes that can be safely done at home without special equipment. But they use small cuts, like duck prosciutto. And at a minimum involve a fan and extra refrigerator you can unplug. And it’s highly reliant on climate and time of year.

Beyond this you are at a minimum rewiring a fridge to convert it into a curing chamber.

Your first link deals with dry aging uncured beef as individual cuts. This doesn’t work anywhere none the less at home. You can safely dry age appropriate beef primals at home, but again it requires adequate control of temperature, humidity, and airflow. You can easily accomplish this with poultry at home. But you’ll want an empty, clean fridge.

To the extent that the hold up here is in equipment and accurate chemistry, you can safely accomplish this at home. But it’s neither cheap, nor easy to get into. And unless you have exactly the right climate, and it’s the right time of year. The stuff you’ve already got isn’t going to work consistently.


Ok, right. Thanks for clarifying. I was conflating a number of processes.

I, too, have done this. It absolutely works (so long as you fashion a little roof out of tinfoil over your lightbulb, otherwise salty meat juices drip on it so it goes ‘bang’ in the middle of the night and your family yell at you).


This is the kind of specificity I need in a cookbook.


Those Jingalov hats sound very similar to Georgian khachapuri.

The wiki intro and photo describe Adjarian Khachapuri, but many of the other versions are basically flatbreads stuffed with greens, beans, and/or cheese.

Although Khachapuri apparently means cheese bread.

Shit is crazy balls good.

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