First Time Makin' Bacon
So, I got my boss to split a case of pork bellies with me so I could try my hand at home-made bacon!
Now I need a good recipe so as not to disappoint him. We were both thinking of something with a little sweetness to it, possibly some maple syrup, and some sort of chiles for a little kick but not overpowering.
I will also be using wild cherry wood for smoke.
Anyone got a cure recipe like that?
Also, any tips/times?
I assume you mean mop not cure. Should be a good combination. Thirdeye has some good stuff on bacon.
I hit up the search bar for some cure recipes and techniques. Here's my plan:
Cure the bellies using Morton tender quick, brown sugar, black pepper, some clove, chipotle chile, bay leaf and coriander.
I'll apply the cure and vac pack the bellies. They'll go into the fridge for 5 days, flipping each day.
After the 5 days, soak overnight with at least 2 water changes. Then, back into the fridge, uncovered, overnight to form the pellicle.
Next day: smoke w/ cherry wood and baste with maple syrup. I don't know if I will need to use a bowl of ice in the smoker or not, it depends on if I can get the drum to settle in at a low enough temp.
Remove from the smoke once the internal temp reaches 155*, cool and slice.
I'm going to make my Boss's with the chipotle and some of mine, but most of mine will be without because wifey can't eat it.
I will post pics as the process goes along, but it will be quite a while as I have to finish my Fridge Mods, then procure the meat and the cure & smoke have to be scheduled in a way that it ends on my day off so I have time to smoke, chill, slice and package.
Whew! Looking at the process on "paper" it seems like a whole lot of work, but it'll be worth it.
Dam right it will be worth it! And ask the boss for a raise.
BTW- any tips for making poblanos into chipotles? We sell fresh poblanos at my work and was thinking of roasting them myself and using in the bacon. Would I need to dry them out after roasting or just finely dice and rub into the meat along with the cure?
Chiplote is dried/smoked jalapeno. Dried pablano is ancho.
Morton Tender Quick is a good way to go, or check out Michael Ruhlman's book "Charcuterie"...I use this book as a go-to. If you are curing the bacon just remember it takes 7-10 days for the cure to pentrate.
My son does an herb rubbed fresh bacon with no cure. He leaves it in the herb rub/marinade and then cooks in the smoker to about 160. His latest project was a meat-ode to Simon & Garfunkel "Parsley, Sage, Rosemary & Thyme" bacon! He rubs with sugar, salt, herbs and does not use cure (no pink salt or Mortons). He lets it cure in the fridge for 1-2 weeks.
Just wait, you will never buy store bacon again. I just cold smoked 6 pounds of cured bacon with cherry and it was great. I used the thirdeye and cowgirl recipe....except for the smoking method. Others seem to have lots of success smoking at higher temp but I prefer the cold smoking route. I do it in a kamado though so the temps probably got up to around 100 degrees. Check out the a-maze-n pellet smoker, it works great. It will cold smoke for hours and hours and your temps will remain low. Or you can use my simple homebrew method using smoke pellets, expanded metal, and some foil
Good luck, I'll be looking forward to some pron
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Well, first time I went to pick up the bellies, the butcher didn't have them. Apparently the place they get their meat from ran short. The guy was very apologetic. But this morning, I called to see if they were in before wasting a trip.
The case weighs in at just over 23lbs. I wasn't expecting them to be loose like that- I thought they'd be in cryo, but this way will actually be easier I think.
I also got some of my anniversary presents a couple days early, which included a new slicer:
That sucker is sharp, too! Gonna make slicing this bacon very easy. I'm salivating already!!!
Hopefully going to get the cure going tomorrow after work, saturday at the very latest.
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Well, I finally got started on home-made bacon batch #1 yesterday!!!!
The 23.5lb case contained 2 belly halves, one of which weighed about 10lbs and a monster (comparatively) that weighed the remaining 13.5lbs.
Here's the little one:
And the big one:
With this one I could more clearly see where the belly transitioned into the front and back legs.
I cut them as evenly as possible into approximately 3lbs pieces so they'd fit in the Food Saver bags for curing.
I used Morton Tender Quick for the cure, some allspice, ground black pepper and turbinado sugar.
When it came to actually applying the cure, I got a lil confused. The directions on the bag say to use a tablespoon per pound of meat, but that gets diluted when you start adding other ingredients into the mix.
I figured I'd apply it like a rub- enough so you know it's there, but not so much that you cant see the meat underneath it:
After rubbing the cure into all the pieces and vac-packing them, I still had some cure left, but I figured that would account for the little bit of fat I trimmed off.
The pieces went back into the fridge around 11:00pm. Today I flipped them. I will post more pics when it's time to remove from the vac-pack and rinse.
Thanks for looking!!!!
Looking very cool!
Just to throw my hat in the ring.....what I do is....
Get a pork loin and weigh it.
Measure out some Supracure (salt / sodium nitrite mix) at a ratio of 5% cure to the weight of the meat.
Rub ~a third of the cure into the meat.
Place meat in a container and pop into the fridge.
Each day take the meat out of the container and drain then rub with a little more of the cure....repeat this until all of the cure is used up, this'll take about 3-5 days.
Leave the meat for a total of 7 days (I have gone upto 14 but with no benefit imo).
On day 8 rinse and soak the green bacon, changing the water regularly.
Dry the green bacon and pop back in the fridge to form a pellice for a day.
I then cold smoke for five days.
Slice, vac pack and freeze then cook as needed.
Nice and simple!
I'm probably going to have to use one of my large stock pots to soak the bacon hunks in- should I try to keep some space between the pieces? Does it matter? What should I use as spacers, potato chunks?
OK, curing finished the other day. There was some liquid inside the vac-pack, which I've read is normal. Other than that, it looked pretty much like any other piece of seasoned meat.
I rinsed all the pieces off the best I could.
And packed into my 2 biggest stock pots to soak overnight.
I wanted to make sure the pieces had some space in between, so I ended up sticking some ice cubes in to create voids for the water to contact the meat.
My overnight soak turned into a 2 night soak as I was only able to change the water once during the first night. I got 2 more water changes in over the next day, tho. We'll see if this affects the finished product or not.
After the soak, it was time to make the glaze. I took 4 poblanos and roasted on the stove. Here they are with the skins removed.
I cut them into pieces and added them to a pot of simmering maple syrup.
I simmered the peppers for a half hr. When I tasted it, it just tasted like syrup with green peppers in it- not hot at all. I guess I boiled all the capzaisin away. Oh well, there goes that idea.
Decided to just sprinkle a few of the pieces with cayenne before smoking.
I ended up with 8 large rectangular pieces and one little end piece, so I did 2 pieces hot for the boss and 1 for myself to try. I did the little piece too just to finish off the bottle of cayenne .
I don't have any pictures of them on the smoker because it was such a hectic day, but I'll slicing it up in a little bit and will have a couple of that.
Thanks for lookin!
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