Monday, 26 January 2015

Makin Bacon

Recently I had some super bacon at of all places Disney in Orlando. It was in a nice little restaurant at the resort and the food was superb. They had a pepper crusted bacon. So good
 I got it twice.

So naturally I had to make some. Got myself a huge pork belly from the local restaurant supply house and cut off a 6 lb. chunk. Then I cut that into 1 lb. chunks.

We don't have pink salt available on island so I settled for Mortons Quick Cure, figured it would be
the safest one for my new bacon experiment.
Following  directions on the bag I measured the correct amount of cure for each cube of belly and placed it all in a plastic bag in the fridge for what was originally a week but turned out to be 3 days because I ran out of time.

I did not realize I could add all the other stuff into the original brine bag so I waited until it was time for the smoke to apply the local brown sugar and course ground black pepper to the outside.
That was after I washed off the cure.

Now  I was ready for the oven.
We had chopped up some seagrape wood into small slivers and saw dust. I made a fire in the pizza oven and waited until it was down to almost nothing, under 200 F. before putting in the wet sawdust in an old cast iron skillet. I am sure we will perfect this method in time to come.

We use a tuscan grill in the oven for cooking steak etc. and it was perfect for the cubes of belly.
The skittle full of sawdust was happily smoking away so I put in the belly and shut the oven, not all the way and left the chimney open.
I checked it a few times and basically left it all night to smoke.
In the morning, the bacon was done. Even without pink salt it was pink. The fat was drawn down nicely and it smelled smokey.
Next the taste test.
It was no  longer pork, it was now bacon. I cut off the rind before putting the slices in the
skillet. I can use the rind to make cracklin.
This was a great experiment, the bacon is very good and I will certainly do this again.