Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Home made Bacon

I've been quite obsessed lately with bacon. A few weeks ago, I did my first batch of home made Guanciale (still no results since this has to be cured 45 days). Since the Guanciale takes so long, I decided to try making regular bacon (thank you to my friend Charlie for the tips).

I'm not going to go step by step on how I made it since this is not really that type of blog, so I'll just go over generally on what I did.

For starters, I got a good piece of pork from Santis. Basically I mixed salt, peppercorns, rosemary and garlic and massaged that piece of pork for about 30 minutes. I put the it in a zip lock bag and kept it in my refrigerator for 3 days. After 3 days, the bag was full of liquid (from the pork) so I discarded the liquid. This is how it looked after 3 days:

I then added maple syrup (real maple syrup) not the flavored syrup they sell in the groceries. I kept the meat one more day in the zip lock bag.

The next day I removed it from the bag and let it rest on a elevated plate to let all the excess water drip out and kept it for 2 more days like this.

After 2 days, it was time to rinse the rub out. I rinsed the pork really well for about 15 minutes under running water. Then I let it dry for an hour or so.

The pork after days of curing had a much firmer consistency and a much darker color almost like a Jamon Serrano. The next step was to smoke it but I did not have the proper equipment so I decided to turbo it for about 30 minutes a la baƱo Maria.

What I did was pour a whole bottle of English Stout beer, put the turbo on high until the beer started boiling then set the turbo to the minimum temperature and added the pork. The pork was in for around 40 minutes (until internal temperature was 150 degrees)

Once done, I let the pork rest for 2 hours, wrapped it and left in the refrigerator overnight.

The next day, it was time to slice this baby. It was quite easy since it was very firm and easy to cut. this is the result after slicing:

And last, the final test was to cook this, after almost one week, I really was dying to try it.

And the final result:

How did it taste? Well it was a bit salty since I think I put too much salt in my rub, but honestly this is much better than any commercial bacon around and the bonus is there are no preservatives, additives, etc...

The Stout beer gave the bacon a hint of smoky, creamy, coffee taste and without having to smoke it. It was also a bit salty but at the end both flavors complemented each other very well.

The kids and I had it for Saturday breakfast and we all loved it. I will definitely try and experiment with other recipes soon. Will post them here once I have results.

Next though is the Guanciale. It's been curing for almost 25 days already in the chiller. I'm excited about this one. Will keep you all posted.