Tuesday, June 17, 2014

Heavenly Bacon?


I have written about bacon before on a previous blog called My Love of Bacon but why do it again? Because it's bacon!!! Some of you may not know the history of bacon but at one time it referred to all pork products. To most people Bacon refers to Pork (belly of the Pig) and a small percentage of us now know that it can be any meat that is cured and smoked.  There is Lamb Bacon, Turkey Bacon, Beef Bacon and several other cousins varieties. Canadian Bacon which comes from the eye loin which comes pre-cooked. There is bacon square that comes from the jowl of the pig also called Guanciale. How about the Italian version called Pancetta which is cured but not smoke and is rolled like a salami.   

Bringing home the bacon is a common term that refers to bringing home a paycheck and or money but that was not always the original meaning. In the 12th Century, a church in the English town of Dunmow promised a side of bacon to any married man who could sear before the Congregation and God that had not quarreled with his wife for a year and a day. I have also found references to the man swearing also to his marital fidelity.  

Words are suppose to have definitions but in reality words really only have meaning because they change over time. But bacon remains a constant because it tastes so damn good. 

By now you all know that I do not eat Pork or for that matter Treif so I have set out on a quest to make that best non-pork version.  I will never be done. I have so many ideas!!! 

This time I went with a Boneless Short Rib because the fat content and flavor should meet the profile I am looking for.  The short ribs weighed in at 1924 grams or 4 1/4 lbs. Last time I used a Beef Plate and although good it was hard to come by and slightly on the tough side. On the next bacon experiment  I will see if I can get a hold of a Veal plate which should be much more tender.  

The recipe I developed is based on my palate and sense of smell.  I have a great palate and my sense of smell is incredible.  

What make this recipe unique from the others is I used a hint Cloves and Star Anise

Cure # 1 0.25%5g 
BAY LEAF0.03%.6g

Ingredients calculated by percentage of meat weight.  And where necessary I rounded up or down.  
Note 1: The weight of meat plus fat is 100%. All ingredients to be added are expressed as a percentage of the weight of meat plus fat. Percentages can be used to standardize recipes regardless of batch size.  All weights are metric. 
Note 2: No weights are given because the weights of meats vary. Everything is a percentage of the meats weight after trimming. Example- Meat weight 2393 grams and we want to find out the amount of salt we need in grams- 2393 X 3.5%=83.755 or 2392/100 X 3.5 =83.755 grams. 

First thing:Measure and mix the salt and cure and set aside. Next measure the rest of ingredients and set aside. Coat meat thoroughly with Salt and cure mixture. Next coat with rest of ingredients. 

Vacuum sealed and ready for cooler. It will cure for about two weeks than I will cold smoke.  

This is how I cold smoke the Bacon.  I used this wonder inexpensive device know as A-MAZE-N-PELLET SMOKER.  I cold smoked the bacon for 5 hours. 


But what did I learn from this batch? Next time I will use a higher percentage of Maple syrup, Star Anise and Whole cloves. And if I can get my hands on a Veal Beef Plate I will use that cut of meat.