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  • Post #241 - July 26th, 2014, 4:09 pm
    Post #241 - July 26th, 2014, 4:09 pm Post #241 - July 26th, 2014, 4:09 pm
    lougord99 wrote:Perhaps a dumb question - but I'm not sure.

    I bought the 'rib belly' from Peoria Packing. I cut the ribs off with very little meat, since I want as much belly as possible. What have you guys done with the bones? Seems a shame to throw them out.

    Hi,

    I have made posole with those.

    Regards,
    Cathy2

    "You'll be remembered long after you're dead if you make good gravy, mashed potatoes and biscuits." -- Nathalie Dupree
    Facebook, Twitter, Greater Midwest Foodways, Road Food 2012: Podcast
  • Post #242 - July 12th, 2020, 7:35 am
    Post #242 - July 12th, 2020, 7:35 am Post #242 - July 12th, 2020, 7:35 am
    Home made bacon is so good, we are never without it in the house. Here is the process on a recent cure.
    Image
    It starts at Peoria Packing on Lake Street. It was crowded and I couldn't get a picture of the pork bellies, but this gives you an idea. It is a large room that is kept at 35 degrees. Meat and fish are sitting on tables for you to peruse and choose from. There were probably 15 pork bellies to choose from.
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    First I lay the 9 Lb. belly on a cutting board and cut it into 3 pieces that will each fit into a gallon zip lock bag.
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    Then I make the cure. For the 9 lbs of belly, my cure consists of: 5 TBSP kosher salt, 3 tsp curing salt, 6 TBSP dark brown sugar, 6 TBSP maple syrup, 2 TBSP fresh ground black pepper and 3 tsp sweet smoked hungarian paprika.
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    The 3 pieces are in the zip locks with the top folded back so the cure does not get onto the seal. I slather the cure ( is is an oozy consistency ) evenly onto the 3 pieces with my hands.
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    I put the bags into the refrigerator. Within a day, a large amount of liquid is expelled from the meat. I keep the bags in the refrigerator for 10 days, turning them every day or 2 or 3. After 10 days, I rinse them off and put them back in the fridge uncovered for 5 hours to dry out and develop a pelicle.
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    I smoke them on very low heat over lump and chunk cherry until the thickest part is 150 degrees, about 2-3 hours.
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    I put them in the freezer for 30-40 minutes to firm everything up and slice to my desired thickness.
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    I lay a large piece of Seran Wrap on the counter and lay 1 piece of bacon at the top. I rotate everything down 180 degrees, so there is now a piece of plastic on top and on the bottom of the bacon. I lay another piece of bacon on top and repeat until I have 5-6 pieces of bacon with Seran between each piece. These will be put into a large zip lock and frozen. Since there is a piece of Seran between every piece of bacon, it is easy to peel off as many pieces of bacon as I want while still frozen. The bacon goes directly from the freezer into the fry pan.
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    Bacon wrapped and ready to be frozen.
  • Post #243 - July 12th, 2020, 11:11 am
    Post #243 - July 12th, 2020, 11:11 am Post #243 - July 12th, 2020, 11:11 am
    lougord99 wrote:... Bacon wrapped and ready to be frozen.
    Looks wonderful. And you make it sound so easy.
    The thing about quotes on the internet is you can not confirm their validity. -- Abraham Lincoln
  • Post #244 - July 12th, 2020, 11:48 am
    Post #244 - July 12th, 2020, 11:48 am Post #244 - July 12th, 2020, 11:48 am
    Looks great, Lou! By sheer coincidence, I started a bacon cure on Friday. I've always done this with a dry cure. Kosher salt, granulated sugar, brown sugar and curing salt . . .

    Image
    Kurobuta Pork Belly
    8 pounds, 11 ounces. I really prefer getting these with the skin on but that wasn't an option this time around. And this one is also trimmed very closely. All this means I'll have to be extra careful when I smoke it, as the skin and exterior fat provide a level of protection against overheating that I won't have this time.

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    Kurobuta Pork Belly
    The other side. Really looks beautiful.

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    Curing The Belly
    A generous sprinkle of cure on all sides.

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    Bagged Up
    After I rubbed cure on both sides of the belly, I double-plastic-bagged it (closed as tightly as possible), placed it on a cookie sheet and put it in the refrigerator. After a day or two, it will start to exude liquid. The bags and the cookie sheet should be enough contain the liquid. I plan a 6 or 7 day cure and I'll flip it every day during that time.

    Other than finding room in the fridge for this, I think the hardest part is knowing how long to cure it. You don't want to over-cure it but you don't want to go through the whole process only to find a telltale brown strip at the center of the belly because you didn't give it enough time. And that's a matter of feel. Hopefully, as I flip the belly every day, I'll get a good sense of when it's ready. It's been a while since I've done this, so I hope it's as familiar as it used to be. My goal is to smoke it a week from today.

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #245 - July 12th, 2020, 12:05 pm
    Post #245 - July 12th, 2020, 12:05 pm Post #245 - July 12th, 2020, 12:05 pm
    I neglected to include the picture of cutting off the skin. I definitely prefer skin on and smoke skin down so that it protects the belly as you said. After smoking, the skin comes off pretty easily.

    I like the maple syrup taste to the bacon.
  • Post #246 - July 21st, 2020, 12:36 pm
    Post #246 - July 21st, 2020, 12:36 pm Post #246 - July 21st, 2020, 12:36 pm
    lougord99 wrote:I like the maple syrup taste to the bacon.

    That's not my thing but obviously, a lot of people do. It's pretty much iconic.

    Finished up my bacon with fairly good results. I ended up doing a 7-day cure, flipping it over every day during that time. As I mentioned, it had been a while since I'd done this but I think I got the cure time just about right. After 7 days, I rinsed it off thoroughly with cold water, then I dried it on a rack in the refrigerator for one day to develop a pellicle, which helps smoke adhere to the meat. After that, it was time to smoke it . . .

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    Meat Hook
    I love this kooky-looking but extremely functional tool, even though it's a textbook single-tasker.

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    Meat, Hooked
    So much better than a tie rack! :D

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    Horizon Cooker
    Apple wood and a bit of lump charcoal. As long as I share the end product, the neighbors don't seem to mind the smoke too much. :)

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    Belly Hanging
    The upright chamber is perfect for smoking items at slightly cooler temperatures. It still gets warm in there but with the dampers closed down 95% on the fire box and the chimney open just a hair, I was able to keep it around 150F.

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    Bacon
    Once it's out of the smoker, I guess it's officially bacon. This smoked for about 4 hours. As you can see, it got a bit hotter than I'd hoped for. And not having the additional shield of the skin did not help matters. But in the end, it's completely within acceptable parameters.

    Image
    Bacon & Takeda Classic Sujihiki, 310mm
    It doesn't get a ton of use but I knew this "little" unit would come in handy from time to time!

    To "test" it out, I cooked up a few slices for the family this morning . . .

    Image
    Bacon
    Good morning!

    Now, I've got a nice stash of homemade bacon just in time for BLT season (and a bunch to give away, too). :D

    =R=
    By protecting others, you save yourself. If you only think of yourself, you'll only destroy yourself. --Kambei Shimada

    Every human interaction is an opportunity for disappointment --RS

    There's a horse loose in a hospital --JM

    That don't impress me much --Shania Twain
  • Post #247 - July 21st, 2020, 1:06 pm
    Post #247 - July 21st, 2020, 1:06 pm Post #247 - July 21st, 2020, 1:06 pm
    Just to totally change the topic, any of you folks ever make Brit back bacon? I love the stuff, but have never really done it quite right. I'd appreciate any advice anyone can give me...

    TIA!

    Geo
    Sooo, you like wine and are looking for something good to read? Maybe *this* will do the trick! :)

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