The dormancy of winter lends itself well to curing explorationsthe multiday process appears to be easy to manage when your not actually doing anything anyway, and the resulting hunks of meat are comforting in the cold weather. Bacon has always been on the top of my to-do list, however the work needed to turn my Weber Smokey Mountain to a cold smoker to make it always appears to be a more than I wish to tackle when I am in full-on lazy winter mode. So instead, I decided to try out a type of hot smoked baconCanadian bacon. When making the choice to undertake Canadian bacon, little did I know exactly what a game of semantics I was getting into.
All I wanted was my own version of what is most commonly found sandwiched between an English muffin and poached egg. Turns out what we take to get granted as Canadian bacon in the U.S. Isn’t so straightforward whenever we look up north. What is Canadian bacon to Americans is more than probably called back bacon elsewhere. This is made from boneless pork loin, which, compounding confusion, are available fresh or cured and smoked or not smoked dependant upon where you’re. Add in addition to that, in Canada, they are more than probably to call peameal baconcured pork loin rolled in cornmeal, then sliced and cookedtheir own.
No matter the nomenclature, I knew what I wanted, and what I call Canadian bacon begins with a lean pork loin and a wet cure. Rather than going to get a straight water and salt cure, I thought it’d be apt to introduce some flavour, mainly in a product that also makes me think of Canadamaple syrup. Syrup and salt had been the main ingredient of the cure, but I also added brown sugar, bay leaves, garlic, and black peppercorns to add a little extra something. The pork loin was then dipped in the cure, covered, and let sit in the fridge to get four days.
Throughout the summer, when immediacy is what I seek, this wait could have killed me, but rather, my lazy winter self even scoffed at having to do the jobs of lighting up a fire to complete the process. But alas, grilling and barbecues always wins me over, and the pork loin went to the smoker and cooked at 225 degrees until center of the meat reached 140 degrees. Admittedly, with no bark or nice sear, it was not incredibly appetizing, but that is of little consequence, because it isn’t actually meant to seen and eaten as an entire piece of meat. Even though satisfied with this particular bacon, I am still left a bit unfulfilled knowing the world of bacon selections which are still left to be explored. Now I simply need to break free of my winter do nothing funk and make more bacon! – A lean pork loin is dipped in a sweet maple cure then smoked, sliced, and pan fried.