We Can Rebuild It; We Have The Technology

Choco-Rosemary Bacon

That 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 baked beans.

Thus, it seemed like as good a time as any to get started on my next batch of bacon.  Since bacon requires a 7 to 10 day lead time before you have finished product, it was imperative that I get it curing, lest I run out of delectable home-cured porkiness.

Magical Ingredients

While considering the next methods of flavouring, it occurred to me that I hadn’t yet gotten on Scott and Larbo’s choco-bacon train (though I’ve been meaning to).  Being a rabid consumer of my chocolate-covered guanciale toffee, I knew there was serious potential in the choco-bacon combo, but I wanted something more.  Leave it to me to prove that nothing exceeds like excess.  Recalling a dessert that I love at one of our favourite local haunts (Czehoski) formed the basis for this inspiration.  The chef there makes a rich and melty chocolate ganache flavoured with rosemary that is out of this world, so my mind immediately thought chocolate + bacon = good and chocolate + rosemary = also good, therefore chocolate + rosemary + bacon must = out of this world good.  And of course because I never do anything by half measures, it also occurred to me that a little pure Ontarian maple syrup might not be a bad idea either.

Which is how I ended up at my current juncture.  With another 2.5 pound slab of belly kicking around in the fridge, it was (as the French say) a fait accompli.

Chocolatey Cure

In 7 to 10 days I’ll have a better idea of how this turned out, but as of right now, my expectations are running pretty high.

Foodie’s Choco-Rosemary Maple Bacon

2.25 lb slab pork belly

28 g salt

19.5 g maple syrup

28 g cacao nibs, crushed or roughly ground

8 g fresh rosemary, chopped

Mix the last 4 ingredients into a sticky paste and massage into the slab of pork belly.  Place in a non-reactive dish, cover and refrigerate for 7 to 10 days, turning and basting daily.  At the end of 7 to 10 days, remove from cure, lightly rinse and pat dry and return to fridge for another 24 hours on an elevated rack to allow a pellicle to form on the meat.  Once dry and slightly tacky to the touch, smoke in a cold smoker for 1.5 to 2 hours.  Remove rind, cool and wrap tightly in heavy duty plastic wrap.  Refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze immediately.

Until next time…

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2 Responses to “We Can Rebuild It; We Have The Technology”

  1. scott says:

    Rosemary? You RASCAL! That sounds perfect. Rosemary is ubiquitous in my cooking, how did I miss this? Maybe throw a touch of heat in there?

  2. mochapj says:

    Heh, I am a rascal!

    I am almost positive that this is going to be delicious, but am wondering if I put enough rosemary.

    Ah well. Only time will tell!

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