Curing Pork Tenderloin

In Copenhagen the percentage of food we buy is less than a fifth of what we consume. Most of the food we enjoy is found in the bins of supermarkets. We have a form of bin etiquette that we adhere to, which mainly requires a bit of common sense.  I have never had any ill health from bin food, and actually, it is quite an experience to see how much food just one supermarket wastes, I am not going into the politics of this, but it presents a nice opportunity for spontaneity and culinary adventures.

Recently, we passed by the bins and as if manifested, we found an obscene amount of pork tenderloin, about 40kg. I say manifested because I am living on a ship and we are looking for traditional ways to preserve food for sailing voyages, we had just salted some cuts of pork and had had great success. Our intentions upon visiting bins had a keen focus on finding meat and vegetables that we could and can ferment, preserve or cure. This evening was a mega jackpot, aside from the meat we also found 5 ltr of organic olive oil, beers, smoked salmon, vegetables and fruits.

We spent the next day considering how we would organise our salting party. As usual you find some super technical stuff for recipes, but we chose to keep it simple (none of us having much experience) and go for a light salting with some herbs for one batch, where we would roll the tenderloin in the salt mix, massage it a bit and then tie it ready to hang. We spent some hours during the salting party, salting, and then it continued the next morning with a new recipe composed a spice mix, mainly paprika and red wine. The final recipe was to wash the remaining tenderloin with whisky and then coat with black pepper and hang.

Fortunately we had a space on the ship that was perfect for hanging the meat, and we kept opening the door to allow some air circulation, after two weeks, keeping a careful eye on the meat and checking to see if, and what fungus could be growing, only the white stuff presented itself thankfully (the white stuff is good and protects against other fungus)

After two weeks and the meat reducing in size by about a third and firming up nicely we could not resist any longer….the result was something special, a very empowering experience which I would recommend everyone should try, even better if they can get free meat. Now we have about 90 cured pork tenderloins which will last us for the year on the ship, and we can transport them as we sail, it is perfect.


I am happy to answer any questions about the curing process.