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Brines And Confits


Brines, Confits, and Salt as the Great Preserver
Since ancient times, salt has been used to preserve everything from meat and fish to the absolute extreme—cadavers. We've come a long way from mummifying, but salt is still as virtuous and helpful in preserving and curing as it was for our ancient predecessors.
Salt Curing and Preserving
Cured or preserved meat
Nearly all proteins and vegetables (and even fruits!) can be preserved or cured with salt for different reasons and with different outcomes. Pork, bacon, and duck are often preserved with dry salt—meaning a salt rub is thoroughly applied and the proteins are left to cure (and essentially dry out) anywhere from a day or two to several weeks—depending on your intent.

Or the food could be preserved and cured in brine, which is essentially a salty, watery mixture that will have a pickling effect—especially with your vegetables.
Salt used for brines
Brines in particular have a superb ability to infuse your protein or vegetable with flavor, carrying the salt and any other herbs and spices that may have been added to it through every bit of your food. Brines keep your dish effortlessly juicy and flavorful.

Brines usually consist of one cup of salt to every gallon of water, and your protein or vegetable should be completely submerged in the mixture for proper brining and flavor infusion—about an hour for each pound. Venture to the SaltScribe to take a look at some inventive brining tips and recipes that take bold approach to an old technique. Wouldn't you want to sink your teeth into a turkey that took a delicious dip in a smokey, Salish salt brine? Of course you would!

Brining, undoubtedly, involves some time and patience—but the outcome is worth every minute you spend doing it.
Salt confits
Confit is food—mainly proteins—that are preserved in a mixture of salt and fat (usually their own). The protein is already cooked at the time of preservation, but storing it in a container of fat and salt will lengthen the life of your protein as well as heighten the flavor and moistness.

Confit foods can also enlist sugar, oil, and vinegar to help in preserving other types of food, but we can't help but be biased towards the decadent salt-and-fat variety.

Confits made with salt
Goose, duck, and pork are often preserved in confit and are considered delicacies. If you ever see conft de canard (preserved duck) on a menu at a fancy French restaurant, don't pass it up. Confit foods are quite the culinary experience.

Don't let the fancy, French name make you think you can't accomplish a confit in your own kitchen, though. Our SaltScribe will give you some recipe ideas that will help you take on a confit with confidence.