Homemade Smoked Bacon! After watching the curing exploits of Andrew at Slim Pickins’ Pork, Dave at Weber_Cam, and Mike at Menu in Progress, I finally picked up a copy of Charcuterie to try my own hand. Charcuterie, written by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polycn, is about the preparation and preservation of meat, specifically pork. From pancetta to sausage, Charcuterie lays out an amazing road map of complete hog utilization. Frankly, I have found it all spellbinding and motivating. It truly is an amazing read, and a wonderful cookbook.
After making the “Da Bomb" breakfast sausage last week, I turned my attention towards bacon. I picked up 10 pounds of pork belly at a local butcher and brought it home to cure. Although it worked fairly well, I think next time I will place the belly into plastic bags, versus the plastic tub I used. It will make overhauling (the redistribution of cure) easier.
The first five pounds I hot smoked on the gas grill. The second five pounds I hot smoked on the kettle with hickory chips. It should come as no surprise that the kettle smoked bacon tasted the best. In fact, I finished the smoked bacon during brew day so every one got a bite right off the grill.
The bacon I have fried so far transcends a description based on the written word. It is simply lovely. I have since stocked the remaining half of the bacon in the freezer to pull out later.
Next up, sausage (& buying the stuffer! I already have the casings!). However, if you can’t wait, check out Andrew, Dave, & Mike and their amazing charcuterie galleries. I have a lot of catching up and a lot to learn.