Petit Salé

Method

Petit salé is a kind of pickled pork. It is usually made in large quantities at the time, as it keeps for a long time. But it can also be prepared in small quantities.

Take several pounds of pork, preferably from the neck or the breast, or the parts of the animal which are streaky. Cut them in pieces, about three or four inches long.

Get à large earthenware jar with an opening narrower than the bottom. Put at the bottom à layer of thyme and bay leaves, then a thick coat of salt. It is necessary to use the coarse grey salt, unrefined, sea salt being preferable to rock salt. Take a piece of pork and rub it well over with salt, then another, till you have made à layer of meat, all the pieces being well pressed against one another; then another thick layer of salt, and so on, till you have filled the jar or come to the end of your stock of pork. Cover the jar with a piece of cloth, then with the lid. If the jar has no lid, a piece of board over the cloth with something heavy over it will do. Keep in a cool place at least ten days before using.

When you take a piece, take it with your fingers; do not dig in the jar with a fork, and replace the salt carefully.

The other way of making petit salé, by pickling in saumure, is equally good. Take a jar, put bay leaves and thyme as before and fill it with water, leaving of course room for the pieces of pork. Put in salt, a handful at the time, and stir with a wooden spoon to make it dissolve. Go on adding salt till you reach the saturation point, that is to say, when the water cannot dissolve any more salt (which you will know by putting an egg in it; it floats if the water is saturated). Then put the meat in and keep covered in a cool place.

If you make à large quantity, do not forget when you reach the bottom pieces to wash them in several waters before using, otherwise, no doubt, they would be too salt.

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