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Corned Pork
From the National Pork Board

Pork to be corned must be very lean as the fat is much softer than beef fat, and it does not "eat well" after long brining.

Saltpeter is potassium nitrate or sodium nitrate. Saltpeter is responsible for the pink color most people look for in corned, or cured, meats, including bacon, bologna, corned beef, ham, hot dogs, and pepperoni. It may be omitted, however.


4 to 6 lb boneless pork butt (shoulder)
4 quarts cold water
1-1/2 cups salt
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons pickling spice
6 bay leaves
1 clove garlic, sliced
1 onion, peeled and sliced
1/2 ounce saltpeter (optional)


Combine all ingredients except pork, garlic, and onion in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for 5 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

Place pork in a large plastic bag, placed inside a container large enough to hold the pork and the brine. Add garlic and onion and pour cooled brine over the pork; seal bag and refrigerate.

The pork should cure for about 8 to 12 days, depending on the size of the meat, or until the saltpeter has given it a nice pink color throughout. (Cut through a piece after 12 days to check.)

To Cook:

Rinse corned pork thoroughly. Place in a large kettle, cover with cold water. Bring to a boil; reduce heat and simmer for 2 to 2-1/2 hours. Most recipes for New England Dinner call for adding vegetables (cabbage, carrots, potatoes, etc.) during the last 30 to 45 minutes of cooking.

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