She’s Got Pig, And She Knows How To Use It

Sliced

This past weekend project bacon reached it’s inevitable conclusion with the smoking of the first 2.5 pound slab.

Dried Out

After sitting in a honey, vanilla and pink peppercorn-laced cure for a week, I was surprised at how little liquid was expelled.  I partially attribute that to my decision to run the sea salt through a spice grinder first, which yielded a finer powder than I was expecting.  The honey was also particularly viscous, and did not adhere well at first.  In the end though, the cure seems  to have penetrated the meat fairly well.  When I retrieved it from the cure for it’s day of pellicle formation, the bacon gave off a sweet, heady aroma that was vaguely floral, possibly owing to the honey.

Smoked

The next morning, the slab was tossed into the smoker with 3 hours worth of assorted wood pellets, in an equal blend of maple, apple and cherry.  Not thinking the smoking process through fully, I began before we were going out, which meant that at the end when I retrieved the smoked product, the odor of wafting smoke clung to me so heavily that I had to take a quick spin through the shower before we could leave.  It’s amazing how easily that smoke sticks to your clothes, hair, etc.

Fried

Though I found the smell overpowering when I first removed the meat from the smoker, once I fried up a test slice I was pleased with my initial porky results.  The flavours melded nicely, and none of them overshadowed the other, though in hindsight it could have used a touch more pink peppercorn for bite.  For a first effort I’d say it was a home run, and I’m certainly looking forward to all of the sweet and savoury applications.  Since the larger rooftop tomatoes are just about coming into their own, I definitely see some toasted tomato sandwiches in the near future… oh, the decadent possibilities…

Until next time…

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2 Responses to “She’s Got Pig, And She Knows How To Use It”

  1. [...] The bread?  Baked fresh Sunday morning.  The tomatoes?  A handful of sun-warmed San Marzanos from the roof.  And the bacon?  That would be a meaty plank sawed from the slab I cured and smoked recently. [...]

  2. [...] niggling chill in the air meant that yesterday morning I pulled the final mini slab of vanilla pink peppercorn bacon out of the freezer after I’d used the last thawed bits in a crockpot of fall-appropriate [...]

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