Wednesday, May 20, 2009

More Homemade Bacon

My last attempt at bacon left me wanting a bit more. I wasn't fully satisfied with the results. My obvious mistake was not letting the pork cure for enough time. This time around, I also wanted to add a bit of flavor. At first I was afraid to limit the possible uses of the bacon but since I was making a very small batch I figured I would be to avoid bacon overload. I was lucky to have a giant can of pure Vermont Maple Syrup lying around and that pretty much decided my fate.

I used this recipe that was published by the LA Times from 'Charcuterie' by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn. Unlike my first attempt, this was a wet cure and it used curing salt. I actually found the wet cure easier to work with since I could just put everything in a Ziploc bag and just turn it over every day after work. After drying for 2 days and cooking it in the oven, I was excited to see the results.

I took out my knife and did my best to cut a not too thick slice of bacon. I failed miserably. I cooked up the bacon and found that it was too meaty. It had a nice salty maple flavor, but lacked the texture of bacon. That was the moment I decided I needed to borrow/take my father's meat slicer that was sitting in his basement.

Meat Slicer

The meat sliced made all the difference. I could still get thick bacon slices, but with cleaner cuts that cooked and looked like bacon.

Homemade Maple Bacon

I try to do as many things as I can with just basic equipment, but this is one task where I feel having a meat slicer is a must unless you have some crazy knife skills.

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