We Cajuns, as do New Englanders, use salt pork to season many
dishes. I learned to call it "Salt Meat" when I was a kid
in Houma, LA. Actually salt pork is taken from the belly of the
pig; salt meat is a salt cured pork leg, the front leg or
We can buy this in single packs or
as a leg as shown here. Cajuns use salt
meat to cook beans and other vegetables.
It's a staple to us similar to ham
hocks. Shown to the right is a pork leg
that has been salt cured and sliced.
Is salt meat the same as pickled pork? Yes it is!
We'll cut it up in portion
sizes that fit our cooking needs then freeze it as shown to the
Salt curing is the original method used to preserve meats before
refrigeration was available. Today salt curing is still used to
enhance the shelf life of foods such as bacon, smoked sausage, hot
dogs and bologna to name a few.
Sodium nitrite (a cousin of sodium nitrate) is used to do
the curing. Table salt is sodium chloride for you science buffs.
In short, salt curing involves immersing or injecting the meat to be cured in
a brine solution for a specific period of time. Read
Here are a few Cajun recipes that use salt meat.
Today's salt meat doesn't have near the salt on it as it had
years ago. This is why it must be refrigerated.