Any types, kinds of food preservation is very popular in Poland and Eastern Europe. Hubby tried to make a meat conserve twice already - the result was only "so-so". As the say "third time lucky"... and indeed it was! He experimented previously with different types of meat, having it in different sizes with different spices/additions.... and finally he found the best combination - which you can find below!
This process uses cheaper cuts of meat and what's even more important - you know what you're eating! No chemicals, unnatural preservatives in your food!
Please do try and make it! You will be pleased with the result! I promise :)
How to make it...
- 1 kg pork meat like knuckles (hocks), shoulder or belly
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sweet paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
- 1/4 teaspoon chili flakes
- 1/4 teaspoon mustard seeds
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper corns
- 1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
- 4 garlic cloves
- 1 small onion
- 2 cloves
- 100-150 ml water (if you want you can experiment and replace the water with cider or beer)
- 25 ml whiskey, brandy or cognac
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- bay leaves (one for each jar)
Grind all your spices, garlic and onion in a pestle & mortar (or blender), combine with oil and water or alcohol if you're using it. Cut your meat into about 1cm pieces and rub in all the spice mix. Massage the spices into your meat for good few minutes (about 5 minutes, silicone/rubber gloves are a good idea here...). Cover the meat and leave in the fridge for minimum 3 hours.
Sterilize your jars and pack your meat/spice mixture into them, pack it tight up till the rim. Place a bay leaf on top and cover the jar with your lid.
Take a big pot, put a cotton kitchen towel at the bottom, put your jars on top of it and add tap water. Do not cover the jars completely. the water has to reach to about 3/4 height of your jars! Place on the stove and bring to boil. Simmer uncovered for minimum 3 hours.
Take your jars out of the pot and put aside. You'll notice that the jar covers are 'swollen', thanks to the canning process. Leave the conserve for minimum 3 days so the flavour can develop properly.
You can keep your meat conserve, unopened in the fridge for up to 1 month.