Is it cured enough for the next step? Basturma, Pastirma

I'm making pastirma and it's nearing the end of day 4 of salting the meat. I'm not sure if it's cured enough to go onto the next stage (rinse meat, soak in cold water for 1 hour, then press in the fridge for a few days). Some of the meat is still quite soft and pink.

Anyone out there know a bit about curing? This is going to be an air dried meat, so I want to be sure I've got this right.



trampledbygeese March 4, 2013
I'm going to press on with the pastirma. I'm feeling comfortable that I used at least too much salt. It smells good and looks good.

Today is time to hang the meat. What is the ideal temperature and humidity for this step? What are the min and max danger range for both temp and humidity? Keep in mind, this is suppose to be much firmer than most cured meats.
usuba D. March 2, 2013
I can't guess how long to soak without knowing how much salt was used. As for the iridescence on the meat, that is normal. It is a moisture & salt refraction of the light. . . has nothing to do with anything going off. Salt has to be measured to assure if the product gets the right amount.
trampledbygeese March 2, 2013
I rinsed off the salt from the fat piece. The ends have that iridescent shiny green that you get on ham sometimes. Is this a good thing or time to scrap it?
trampledbygeese March 2, 2013
It was roughly 1.48 kilo, sliced in 2 long ways. the thickest part of the thickest piece was roughly 2" with 1.5" being averaged.

Any thoughts on how long to soak it?
usuba D. March 2, 2013
My worry is you may have used too much salt. You have to weigh out the salt in a direct % ratio to the meat. No more than 3% of the green weight of the meat. Even though you no longer see the salt on the outside, it is still migrating into the centre of the meat. Soaking can be optional, but since you have probably over salted, than you may need to soak. Do you know the green weight of the beef? Also the thickness of the thickest part?
trampledbygeese March 2, 2013
I'm using a combination of and recipe. Mostly the second one, but including the pressing and soaking steps from the first one.

This is my first time curing beef as I usually work with pork or salmon. I'm not very trusting of beef as a rule (don't know why, something from my childhood I expect) so I want to get this right.

The first step is basically pack it in salt. Since the salt had all dissolved but it wasn't turning grey any more, I rinsed the meat, and repacked it in a lot more salt yesterday. This made a huge difference in just a couple of hours. This morning, the smaller of the two pieces is almost firm and has no pink left on the outside. I think I'll start the soaking/pressing stages with it this afternoon. The other one is still a bit pink, so I'll repeat the rinse and more salt step today and see how it is tomorrow.

One of the things that gets me is that I suspect the butcher where I bought the meat sprays that stay pink stuff they have, as the meat they sell is horribly red, even when it's been on the shelf for a few days. I wonder if this will effect my curing at all.
usuba D. March 2, 2013
Sorry, grey only if you brine cured, I am assuming you dry curing since you are air drying. So, the middle will be pink from dry curing. The product will continue to cure as you press it in the fridge . . .this is not only to help shape it but to also equalize the salt in the meat.
usuba D. March 2, 2013
If you are seeing pink, then it is not cured . . . should be grey.
usuba D. March 2, 2013
Rule of thumb is 1 week per inch of meat.
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