Berkshire Botanical Garden Center House
This demonstration, led by Jake Levin, will take you through the process of curing at home. It begins with a brief history of curing/salting meat, including an explanation of the three products and basic techniques we will be making that day. We discuss what cuts and types of meat are best suited for different kinds of curing techniques, and why. You will get a basic overview of what curing does and why. We will discuss the three basic curing techniques and why, when, and how to use them: brining, applying a rub (generally used for smoking meats) and dry-curing. We will then go through each technique doing a hands-on demonstration for each technique with a different product (brined chicken, rubbed pork tenderloin and dry-cured salmon). We will talk about how to think about what ingredients to include when curing and how that changes for each of the three techniques. Jake will explain the ratios for salt and other ingredients. He will explain frameworks to come up with one’s own recipe by thinking about other classic spice combinations or by using recipes from other meat dishes. At the end, we will sample some of the products we made.
Jake Levin lives in the southern Berkshires with his wife and daughter on the land where he grew up. He is a whole-animal-butcher, writer and artist. When Jake is not working in his outdoor kitchen, he is on the road teaching people how to slaughter, butcher and cure meats as the “Roving Butcher.”