Recipe from Salumi by Michael Ruhlman, Brian Polcyn (W. W. Norton & Company, 2012)Smoked salumi is common in northeastern Italy, which retains many of the culinary customs that were the result of the Austrian occupation. The country bacon of the Alto-Adige region, for instance, is speck, smoked dry-cured ham. Ours is heavily seasoned with pepper, bay leaf, juniper, nutmeg, and cinnamon. Traditionally speck hams were moved to hang in the chimneys of people’s houses in the spring, when fires were no longer in use, from which they picked up the desired smoke flavor. Now they’re cold-smoked, as this one is. Speck is usually the whole back ham of the hog, but here we use the shoulder, which is a smaller and more manageable cut. We love the aromatic impact of the juniper here. If you have access to juniper bushes, the branches can be used for smoking it.
One 10-pound/4500-gram boneless pork shoulder (see pages 40–41 for how to bone this cut)
1. Lay the meat out flat, skin side down, on the work surface. With a cast-iron pan or other heavy pan or a meat mallet, pound the meat to an even thickness of about 4 to 5 inches/10 to 12 centimeters.
- 8 ounces/225 grams coarse sea salt or kosher salt (8.5% of the weight of the meat)
2 teaspoons/14 grams DQ Curing Salt #1
1 teaspoon/3 grams Colman’s dry mustard
1 teaspoon/3 grams freshly grated nutmeg
4 tablespoons/48 grams finely ground juniper berries
4 tablespoons/48 grams ground allspice
4 tablespoons/48 grams finely ground black pepper
½ cup/85 grams dark brown sugar
1 tablespoon/10 grams finely ground dried bay leaves
2. Combine the cure ingredients and add to a 13-gallon/49-liter plastic bag. Put the meat in the bag and rub it thoroughly with the cure.
3. Put the shoulder on a baking sheet, top it with another pan, and put about 8 pounds/3600 grams of weights on top pan. Refrigerate the shoulder for 5 to 6 days. Flip the shoulder each day, with the cure, to redistribute it and again, reweight it.
4. Remove the ham shoulder from the bag, rinse it under cold water, and pat it dry with paper towels.
5. Cold-smoke the shoulder for 5 to 8 hours at 80 to 90 degrees F./25 to 30 degrees C.
6. Weigh the meat if using weight to determine doneness. Poke a hole through a corner of the shoulder, run a piece of butcher’s string through it, and knot it. Hang the meat in the drying chamber for about 6 months, until it has lost about 30 percent of its raw weight.
Yield: 1 smoked shoulder