Project 15: Make Your Own Bacon

[one_half first] Project 15 Homemade Bacon [/one_half] [one_half last]

Category: Whole Animal

Starting points

What you'll need (check availability)

  • Prague Powder
  • Smoker chips or liquid smoke
  • Thermometer
  • Pork belly
  • Freezer bag
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Background

Bacon – otherwise known as “side bacon,” is pork belly that's cured and smoked. Both of these processes originated as methods of preserving meat, and have persevered in today's world of modern refrigeration because they make meat delicious. The process outlined here can be applied to other cuts of meat with tasty results, but good quality pork belly, with its alternating muscle and fat, is perhaps the finest cut to work with. The cure works through a balance of salt, sugar, and sodium nitrite (present in minute quantity in the prague powder) to draw out moisture, enrich flavour, preserve the colour, and suppress bacterial growth. In this method, we employ liquid smoke to impart the flavour and preservative effect of smoking without requiring the use of a smoker. It does feel a bit like cheating, but it really is actual smoke that has been liquified, and is often the only option.

Whole Animal resources

EatWild. A vancouver-based company that runs a variety of training programs on harvesting food from the natural environment, especially by hunting. www.EatWild.ca Stuffers Supply Company. The Lower Mainland’s premier sausage resource, they offer a great free recipe book: estores.wws5.com/stuffers.com/content/recipes/sausrecp.pdf Wedliny Domowe. An excellent and comprehensive resource on home sausage making, smoking, and curing meats. http://www.meatsandsausages.com