How to Prepare Salted Pork with Mustard Sauce


Salting meat has been a traditional method of preservation for centuries. One popular dish that utilizes this technique is salted pork, also known as “solonina” in Russian cuisine. This article will guide you through the process of preparing delicious salted pork with a tangy mustard sauce. From selecting the right cut of meat to marinating and cooking it to perfection, we’ll cover all the necessary steps to create a mouthwatering dish.

1. Choosing the Right Cut of Pork

The first step in preparing salted pork is selecting the right cut of meat. The ideal choice would be a pork belly or pork side, as they have the perfect combination of lean meat and fat. The fat will add moisture and flavor to the meat, while the lean meat will ensure a tender and succulent texture.

1.1 Pork Belly vs. Pork Side

When choosing between pork belly and pork side, it’s important to consider your personal preference and the desired outcome of the dish. Pork belly is known for its layers of fat and tender meat, making it a popular choice for dishes like bacon. On the other hand, pork side has a slightly leaner meat-to-fat ratio, which can result in a firmer texture.

1.1.1 Pork Belly

Pork belly is a versatile cut of meat that can be used in various culinary preparations. Its rich marbling of fat gives it a tender and juicy texture, making it perfect for slow-cooking or roasting. When selecting pork belly, look for cuts with an even distribution of fat and meat.

1.1.2 Pork Side

Pork side, also known as pork flank or pork rib, is another excellent choice for salted pork. It is slightly leaner than pork belly, which can result in a firmer texture. However, it still retains enough fat to ensure a flavorful and moist final product.

2. Preparing the Meat

Once you have chosen the cut of pork, it’s time to prepare the meat for salting. This involves trimming excess fat, scoring the skin, and applying the salt mixture.

2.1 Trimming Excess Fat

Before salting the meat, it’s advisable to trim any excess fat from the surface. This will prevent the dish from becoming overly greasy and will allow the flavors to penetrate the meat more effectively. Use a sharp knife to carefully remove any unwanted fat, ensuring that you do not remove too much of the fat cap, as it adds moisture and flavor to the dish.

2.2 Scoring the Skin

Scoring the skin of the pork is an essential step that helps the salt penetrate the meat and enhances the crackling effect. Using a sharp knife, make diagonal cuts across the skin, ensuring not to cut too deep into the fat layer. The cuts should be about 1 to 2 centimeters apart, creating a diamond pattern across the skin.

2.3 Applying the Salt Mixture

Now it’s time to prepare the salt mixture that will be used to cure the pork. In a bowl, combine coarse sea salt, black pepper, garlic powder, and any other desired spices or herbs. Rub the salt mixture generously all over the meat, ensuring that it reaches into the cuts on the skin. The salt will draw out moisture from the meat, effectively preserving it and enhancing its flavor.

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3. Marinating the Pork

After applying the salt mixture, the pork needs to marinate for a certain period to allow the flavors to develop and the salt to work its magic.

3.1 Refrigerating the Pork

Place the salted pork in a large ziplock bag or a covered container and refrigerate it for at least 24 hours. This extended period of time allows the salt to penetrate the meat, resulting in a well-seasoned and flavorful dish. The longer you marinate the pork, the more intense the flavors will be.

3.2 Turning the Meat

During the marinating process, it’s important to turn the meat occasionally to ensure even distribution of the salt and spices. This will also help the flavors penetrate the meat more effectively. Turn the pork every 6 to 8 hours to achieve the best results.

4. Cooking the Salted Pork

After the marinating process, it’s time to cook the salted pork to perfection. There are various methods you can choose from, including roasting, boiling, or smoking the meat.

4.1 Roasting the Salted Pork

Roasting is a popular cooking method for salted pork as it allows the flavors to concentrate and the skin to become crispy. Preheat your oven to 180°C (350°F) and place the pork on a wire rack in a roasting pan. Cook the pork for approximately 2 to 3 hours, or until the internal temperature reaches 70°C (160°F).

4.2 Boiling the Salted Pork

Boiling salted pork is another traditional method that results in tender and succulent meat. Place the pork in a large pot and cover it with water. Bring the water to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer and cook the pork for approximately 1.5 to 2 hours, or until tender. This method is often used when the salted pork will be used as an ingredient in other dishes.

4.3 Smoking the Salted Pork

Smoking salted pork adds a unique and smoky flavor profile to the dish. If you have access to a smoker, this method is highly recommended. Follow the manufacturer’s instructions for smoking pork and cook the salted pork until it reaches an internal temperature of 70°C (160°F).

5. Making the Mustard Sauce

Now that your salted pork is cooked to perfection, it’s time to prepare a delicious mustard sauce to accompany it. The tangy and creamy sauce complements the rich flavors of the pork, creating a harmonious balance of tastes.

5.1 Ingredients for the Mustard Sauce

To make the mustard sauce, you will need the following ingredients:

  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
  • 1 tablespoon whole grain mustard
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper to taste

5.2 Instructions for the Mustard Sauce

In a bowl, combine the mayonnaise, Dijon mustard, whole grain mustard, honey, and lemon juice. Whisk the ingredients together until well combined and smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. The mustard sauce can be served immediately or refrigerated for later use.

6. Serving the Salted Pork with Mustard Sauce

Now that you have prepared both the salted pork and the mustard sauce, it’s time to serve this delicious dish. Here are a few suggestions on how to present and enjoy your creation:

  • Slice the salted pork into thin strips and arrange them on a platter.
  • Drizzle the mustard sauce over the pork or serve it on the side as a dipping sauce.
  • Garnish with fresh herbs, such as parsley or chives, to add a pop of color and freshness.
  • Serve the salted pork with a side of roasted potatoes or steamed vegetables to create a complete meal.

Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ 1: Can I use different spices for the salt mixture?

Yes, you can customize the salt mixture according to your taste preferences. Experiment with different spices and herbs, such as paprika, thyme, or rosemary, to add a unique flavor profile to the salted pork.

FAQ 2: Can I use pre-made mustard sauce instead of making it from scratch?

Yes, if you prefer convenience, you can use pre-made mustard sauce instead of making it from scratch. However, homemade mustard sauce allows you to control the flavors and adjust the taste according to your liking.

FAQ 3: How long can I store the salted pork?

Properly salted and cooked pork can be stored in the refrigerator for up to one week. Make sure to wrap it tightly in plastic wrap or store it in an airtight container to prevent any contamination.

FAQ 4: Can I freeze the salted pork?

Yes, you can freeze salted pork for future use. After cooking, allow the pork to cool completely, then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and place it in a freezer bag. Frozen salted pork can be stored for up to three months.

FAQ 5: Can I use the mustard sauce for other dishes?

Absolutely! The mustard sauce is a versatile condiment that can be served with various dishes, such as sandwiches, grilled meats, or roasted vegetables. Its tangy and creamy flavor complements a wide range of ingredients.

FAQ 6: Can I adjust the spiciness of the mustard sauce?

Yes, you can adjust the spiciness of the mustard sauce by adding more or less Dijon mustard or whole grain mustard. If you prefer a milder sauce, reduce the amount of mustard, and if you like it spicier, increase the quantity of mustard.


Preparing salted pork with mustard sauce is a delightful culinary adventure that combines the art of salting meat with the creamy and tangy flavors of mustard. By following the steps outlined in this article, you can create a mouthwatering dish that will impress your family and friends. From selecting the right cut of pork to marinating and cooking it to perfection, every detail has been covered to ensure your success in the kitchen. Enjoy the process and savor the delicious results!

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