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Saturday, February 26, 2011

Skilandis Continued…This may take a while.

Ahhh! Skilandis!  After curing our chunks of pork and beef for three days, it is now time to season and case.  Traditionally Skilandis is cased in a pig’s bladder, since pig bladders are not readily available at to me I went with a 100 mm collagen casing (sorry Skilandis purists but I think we will survive).  So, first off if you read my last post I was going to go with the cure and grind method, after discussing the grinding with Janina (my mother-in-law), I decided it was best to stick to tradition.  One of the things that I have found with any culture, or nationality  is that they know what they are doing.  If a method doesn’t work it does not become a tradition.  So as instructed I cubed the meat into cubes as big two of my fingers.  Next, I had to only add fresh garlic and fresh ground black pepper (no herbs). 
Weight of meat 1592 grams
Garlic (finely minced) 11 grams .07%
Black Pepper (coarse ground) 3 grams .01%
Skilandis (10 of 9)
Skilandis (11 of 9)
Skilandis (12 of 9)
Mix the pepper and garlic with the cubed meat, and stuff into the casing. Next I tied the Skilandis using butchers twine.  After tying the Skilandis I inspected the casing for any air pockets, pricking the ones I found. 
Skilandis (13 of 9)
Skilandis (14 of 9)
Skilandis (16 of 9)
Lastly I applied some pressure.  Following the advice of Juozas (my father-in-law) I employed to poplar planks and zip ties to put the squeeze on. I let it sit under pressure for a couple of days and then into the curing chamber where it will hang for a week.  After a week the Skilandis will cold smoke for forty eight hours then back in for a week the smoking and resting will be repeated 3 times, don’t ask me why I just do as I am told.  During the final smoking Juniper will be used along with Oak as the smoking agent.  After that into the chamber four three to four months, not sure how the weight loss percentage will work out but I will figure it when the Skilandis is  done.  I will update this post with picks after it is smoked as well.
Skilandis (17 of 9)

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