Over the Christmas season I make homemade (or house made, which seems to be more in style now and has been commandeered by restaurants) food gifts. While preparing twenty-five pounds of bacon using my standard recipe I also had purchased a whole shoulder, so I decided to cut off five pounds and make buckboard bacon. No idea why it’s called that, other than the pioneer reference, but a standard bacon cure can be used for any cut of pork and it will taste like bacon. Here’s the recipe for simplicity’s…read more
I like sandwiches. No, that’s not strong enough: I love sandwiches. Take ingredients you thoroughly enjoy and put them in a portable, edible container. We had what could be considered a “perfect storm” of elements in the refrigerator last week for me to create what is now my official sandwich of 2012.
This is a carryover from my own childhood and always a favourite with my children: cheese dreams. Give any bun a thick swish of Cheez Whiz and add pieces of cooked bacon. Put them under the broiler and you have a hot and tasty lunch or snack; I especially like the blackened bits.
I had enjoyed double smoked bacon when I worked at a German butcher shop during high school but haven’t seen it much since. It was my monthly or quarterly bacon prep and I was smoking a pork belly and a half loin, both prepared with my bacon recipe. Unfortunately I didn’t time it well: I started smoking on my Big Green Egg but only achieved two hours of hot smoking when I have to pull everything to prepare steaks for dinner. The bacon had achieved an internal temperature of 150 degrees…read more
As a huge fan of Saveur magazine I was thrilled to see they ran a piece on making your own bacon at home a few years ago. Of course I have my own recipe I enjoy so I forgot about the article until last month when I was perusing Saveur’s web site and came across the recipe online. Since I like to work with five pound pork bellies and want pink salt in my cure I modified the recipe as follows. It turned out well but I found the bacon…read more
I took advantage of the freezing weather to cold smoke my latest batch of bacon. Until now I’ve been hot smoking it: working with a temperature of 200 degrees Fahrenheit in my Big Green Egg I smoked the bacon for about four hours until it’s internal temperature reached 150 degrees. With the Weber Smokey Mountain I can maintain smoke indefinitely and keep the bacon’s internal temperature to around 100 degrees. I smoked this batch with sugar maple charcoal and maple chunks for six hours. The texture of the finished product…read more
I love black pepper and really enjoy pepper crusted bacon. I have been looking for a method to make this at home since I’m already making bacon, and was peeling the skin off a smoked belly when it hit me. When the belly is hot it’s covered in a thin layer of hot fat which acts an adhesive, so anything you rub into it at this stage will stick to it when the bacon cools down. This sounds incredibly obvious now but it never occurred to me. I cracked about…read more
After much trial and error over the last year I’ve settled on a standard cure for smoked bacon. I started with the smoked bacon recipe from Charcuterie and made my variations from there. I like a sweeter bacon but also want the bite of the pepper. I enjoy the dark syrup more than the brown sugar, but I’m Canadian and have easy access to excellent pure maple syrup. A nice fatty pork loin works just as well as a belly if you want an English cut bacon. 5 lb pork belly (or…read more
Bacon is what started me on the homemade path and it keeps me there. This past winter a local shop had pork bellies for $0.69 per pound so I picked up ten whole bellies and cut them into five pound pieces, wrapping them nicely and filling the bottom half of my freezer. Every few weeks I pull a piece of belly out and make a good breakfast bacon. I say breakfast bacon because I like dark brown sugar and maple syrup in the cure, along with salt, pink salt and…read more