Today I took took the fat back I'd been curing out of the cure and hung it up to dry. With the exception of one minor variation I've been mostly following the recipe from Charcuterie by Ruhlman and Polycyn, otherwise it's by-the-book.
The curing rub was made with kosher salt, dextrose powder, nitrate salt seasoned with black pepper, bay leaf and rosemary instead of the specified thyme (pun inteneded). After I coated the six pounds of fat back (from the Reading Terminal branch of Stoltzfus' Meats) with the curing mix, I put it in a dish (pictured below) and covered it with plastic and foil. Then I put a piece of plywood on top and weighted it with two 5 lbs free weight discs (not pictured). It seems that at least some types old exercise equipment don't have to sit around forever feeling useless. Not too sure that's going to be the case with the weight bench or the elliptical machine that we wasted a thousand bucks on 3 or so years ago. But I digress.
Today, after 10 days, I took the fat out of the cure, rinsed it off, rolled it in cheesecloth and hung it up to air dry. The taste of the raw fat coming out of the cure is amazing. It is very similar to the taste of fat in genoa salami but without the acidic edge that is produced when the salami ferments. But in truth there's nothing like it, I'm totally hooked.
BTW, the knife in the picture was given to me by my wife for my birthday (I just turned 53 Arghhh!). It's a pretty fancy Japanese chef's knife, by somebody named Ken Onion. I'm leaving it in the stand for now, but I doubt it's going to stay there much longer.