So it's family Christmas at my brothers this year which means interstate for two families. I asked my brother what we could bring to help contribute and i was told nothing. It's all sorted. But i just couldn't turn up empty handed.
I think I'm taking the perfect thing.... home made bacon!
Picked up a pork belly, wet brined for 4 days in a solution of salt pepper, molasses, sugar and water.
Hot smoked on the KJ for approx 2hrs (150f internal temp).
Should feed the whole family breakfast for the time we're there :-)
The Guru Moderators Challenged me to create a “Weave Your Way Through May”. I thought long and hard at what I could create.
Create something delicious by weaving ingredients together? At first, I thought
I kept thinking and then came to the “point” where an idea “stuck” with me.
If I had the correct ingredients
I studied up on my past cooks and if you will
I’ll provide you with a little educational reading and show you
I assembled most of my ingredients
Greased up my CI pie pan with some Crisco.
Did my crust weave in it
but it looked a bit
(Not my best work. I should’ve done this on the glass pie dish like last time but since the crust won’t show this was no biggy)
Now I placed the glass dish in the CI dish to try to control shrinkage and keep its shape.
Now place it upside down on the kamado to let the bacon grease drain. I let it cook this way for 30 minutes.
While that was cooking I whipped up the egg, milk, sour cream and Bisquick
Once the bacon crust was cooled I placed in a layer of thinly sliced potato.
Now some slivered onion
and then the Hatch Chiles.
Now I added half the egg mixture and 1 cup of cheese.
I repeated this process and placed it on the kamado for 50 minutes at 300 degrees.
Here it is after 50 minutes.
I thought we could clink our glasses in a toast but alas it still wasn’t alive like I wanted
so I threw a little temper tantrum.
It needed one last ingredient
So I added a bacon weave on top of mostly already cooked bacon and cooked it an extra 10 minutes. (Didn’t want to deal with the shrinkage or the extra grease)
and in a last desperate attempt, I yelled out
Here it is after the additional 10 minutes.
Close-up with flash.
Today I cut a slice and heated it up for breakfast.
My wife found some boneless spareribs on sale at our local supermarket. I had some thick cut bacon that need to be cooked. So here is their beautiful marriage. Rubbed with Jake's grillin' coffee rub, cooked over indirect heat at 250°. Pulled when internal temp of 155° was reached(first time checking). Also cooked some bacon that was awesome as well. Here's some pics! The sparerib in the front was on the back of the grill, still great though.
For the "Let's Take Sides Challenge! " I decided to try Gouda and Jalapeno stuffed tater bombs to go with a maple/sriracha glazed ham.
Most of the ingredients.
I used an apple corer to make a hole completely through the potatoes and stuffed them with jalapenos stuffed with Gouda cheese and wrapped the spuds in bacon. ( Some of the smaller yukon golds I stuffed with a dragon cayenne pepper inside the jalapenos but they were scarfed down before I could get a photo.) Added some olive oil, salt and pepper and wrapped them in foil. While the ham was getting pretty on ole smokey I put the tater bombs on Jr. at 325-350 for around 40 mins.
I hate to waste the residual cool down heat of ole smokey so I put a couple of the large tater bombs on her after the ham was done.
For this bacon, I wanted to push up the sugar percentage in the equilibrium immersion cure more toward what some might refer to as a ‘Sweet Cure’ bacon at 6% sugars in the curing brine. Just to give us a taste comparison to belly bacon using lower sugar concentrations in prior bacon batches. I also slightly increased my typical salt percentage up to 2.5%.
The bacon flavor after the final fridge rest has become quite uniform and well balanced throughout the meat. Quite good to eat freshly sliced (since it is fully "cooked") , but outstanding when carefully fried off at low to medium heat due to the higher sugar. It cooks and crisps nicely with the outer edges developing a nice caramelization. It has a much sweeter finish on the palate when eating a slice. Quite rich. Quite filling. Great for breakfast, outstanding on BLTs.
This started out at just under 10 lbs. I utilized an equilibrium immersion cure approach at the higher sugar level. Cure #1, salt, brown/white sugar, and some fine ground black pepper in the brine. Smoked in my converted electric kitchen oven smoker using a graduated time/temperature profile starting at 130 and not exceeding 170 degrees heat. After immersion , a solid day in the fridge uncovered to dry. Dusted lightly with fine ground black pepper before hitting the smoker. A total cook time of 11.5 hours with 10.5 hours on the hickory smoke using pellets in my smoking maze. Internal meat temps were between 147 and 150. Yield after smoking was about 80% by weight from the initial meat weigh-in.
A 3 day fridge rest wrapped in peach butcher paper equalized the bacon and it firmed up nicely. Chilled for a bit in the freezer and sliced on the Berkel 827A at a thickness of 1/8 inch. Finally the bacon was chamber vacuum sealed in a mix of 1/2 and 1 pound packages. Ready for future good eats.