Osolen Svinski But
Cured Meats and Meat By-products - Bulgaria
Осолен свински бут
Osolen svinski but is a product made in the Varna region of Bulgaria's east coast through curing the hind leg of a pig. Typically, the legs of pigs weighing over 100 kg are used. The cleaned leg is salted for ten days with sea salt and is flipped every two days, with more salt added if necessary. After ten days, the salt is removed and the meat is washed. The leg meat is blanched in boiling water for 5 - 15 minutes until the meat becomes whitish in color. Then the leg is left to drain before being covered with red pepper powder. Some individuals also use savory, black pepper or cumin. The leg is then hung in a well-ventilated area and can be stored in this manner for 6 - 8 months.
In the past, almost every Bulgarian household kept one or two pigs for family use. Traditionally, their meat was preserved as cured meat and then used in the preparation of different dishes. Osolen svinski but is not usually found for sale. Because the number of pigs kept in the area is low, the product is made only for home consumption. Today, this method of preservation can be found less and less frequently as families shift to storing their meat with refrigeration. Today, the cured legs are considered more of a delicacy than an everyday ingredient. A larger demand for osolen svinsky but, however, could lead to its more widespread production.