Curing Meats using Prague Powder

Curing meats using Prague Powder

Rather than using a pre-mixed cure to make a particular style of cured meat it is possible to create your own blend using Prague Powder. Prague powder is a mixture of salt and curing salts that can be further mixed with additional salt, sweetners and herbs to formulate your own cure specific to your requirements.

There are two blends of Prague Powder, 1 and 2 and they are used for different cures. A general rule of thumb to follow when making up your own blend is Prague 1 is used for meats that you can cook after curing and Prague 2 can be used with cured meats that are eaten without cooking.

Prague Powder #1

To DRY CURE using Prague Powder #1 or Prague Powder #2 follow the guidance below.

For every 1 Kg of meat for curing you will need to weigh out 2.5g Prague Powder #1, you’ll also need to add 27.5g of additional salt to make up the blend. If you require a sweet cure you can add up to 20g of sugar or other sweetner like honey, treacle or golden syrup to the mix. If you do use a wet sweetner like honey or treacle, add them to the cure once the meat has been salted and is in a curing bag. This saves on a lot of mess moving meat around that is covered in a sticky sweet substances.

When weighing Prague Powder#1 we always recommend using scales that have the ability to measure grams up to two decimal places.

Adding herbs and spices to your cure adds flavour and character to your finished bacon and couldn’t be easier. One word of caution though, if using strong flavours and hot spices, just be careful and go a little easy until you know how it affects the finished product.

We recommend this method for curing under vacuum. This method ensures the cure is in very close contact with the meat and allows for a quicker and more even cure.

To WET CURE using Prague Powder #1 follow the guidance below.

BRINE SOLUTION:

The ingredients have been adjusted to work for a 200g packet of Prague Powder #1.

 

%

Kg

 

Prague Powder #1 (200g)

2.3%

0.200

Salt

17.7%

1.54

Cold Water

80%

6.96

 

Weigh out the chilled water and dissolve the salt and Prague powder #1 in the water. Stir/agitate until everything is completely dissolved. The brine is then ready for use. Keep the brine refrigerated before use. If a sweeter cure is desired add an additional 4.0% (350g for the recipe above) sugar to the brine.

The amount of brine required is half the weight of the meat that you are curing (50 parts brine:100 parts meat.). If required some of the brine solution can be injected into the meat.

Use a suitably sized container s othat sufficient brine is left to fully cover the meat. Store brine below 5ºC, but not below 0ºC.

Allow to cure one day per half inch (13mm) thickness of meat, plus 2 days.

After use the brine should be discarded.

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Prague Powder #2

Prague Powder #2 Dry Cure for making dry cured and air dried charcuterie

Prague Powder #2 has been developed as easy-to-use cure mix which can be used as a dry cure, which when simply mixed with additional salt is immediately ready for use. The cure mix contains the necessary ingredients for successful curing i.e. nitrate, nitrate and salt to produce traditional-style dry cured meats. This cure is ideally suited to smaller processors.

DRY CURE:

 

%

g

 

Pork loin, Belly pork, Beef, Venison

100%

1000

Prague #2

0.25%

2.5

Salt

2.75%

27.5

Sugar (optional) (whole muscle)

2.00%

20.0

Sugar (optional) (sausage mixture)

0.50%*

5.0*

Herbs, spice and aromatics

To taste

To taste

* Sugar levels are suggested only and will depend on specific recipe.

METHOD

(Whole muscle)

De-bone and trim the meat.

Ensure the Prague powder is thoroughly mixed with the salt and sugar (if required) before application.

Ensure the curing mixture is distributed evenly, particularly in pockets and cavities.

Vacuum pack meat and refrigerate (Store at 2ºC – 4ºC).

Allow to cure one day per half inch (13mm) thickness of meat, plus 2 days.

Turn every day to achieve an even cure. Apply date sticker for records.

Once curing is finished, rinse off excess curing salt and ensure fully dried.

The meat is now ready for air drying at specific Temp and RH limits.

(Sausage mixtures)

Ensure the Prague powder is thoroughly mixed with the salt, sugar (if required) and other spices and herbs before application.

Ensure the curing mixture is distributed evenly throughout the mixture.

Stuff the sausage into casings.

Apply date and weight sticker for records

Allow to cure in accordance with recipe prior to air drying.

Air dry at specific Temp and RH limits until target drying is achieved.

NOTE: Take care to avoid contact with other meats in fridge to avoid cross-contamination by nitrite.

LABELLING/LEGISLATION

The product must be labelled in compliance with the current Regulations – 2006/52/EC governing the use of nitrites and nitrates in meat products. The official journal can be found on the following website: www.opsi.gov.uk. For specific queries on Labelling of final products, customers are recommended to discuss the matter with their Local Trading Standards Department.