Cooking Louisiana  -  Salt Meat
Cajuns, as do New Englanders, use salt pork to season many dishes. I learned to call it "Salt Meat" when I was a kid in Houma, LA. Actually salt pork is taken from the belly of the pig; salt meat is a salt cured pork leg, the front leg or "picnic".

Salt MeatWe can buy this in single packs or as a leg as shown here. Cajuns use salt meat to cook beans and other vegetables. It's a staple to us similar to ham hocks. Shown to the right is a pork leg that has been salt cured and sliced.

Is salt pork the same as pickled pork? Yes it is!

Salt MeatWe'll cut it up in portion sizes that fit our cooking needs then freeze it as shown to the left.

Salt curing is the original method used to preserve meats before refrigeration was available. Today salt curing is still used to enhance the shelf life of foods such as bacon, smoked sausage, hot dogs and bologna to name a few.

Sodium nitrite (a cousin of sodium nitrate) is used to do the curing. Table salt is sodium chloride for you science buffs.

In short, salt curing involves immersing or injecting the meat to be cured in a brine solution for a specific period of time.

Today's salt meat doesn't have near the salt on it as it had years ago. This is why it must be refrigerated.

Here are a few Cajun recipes that use salt meat that can be found on the Recipes page.
Snap Beans
Mustard Greens
Smothered Potatoes
Smothered Cabbage


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