Saturday, August 4, 2012

Bacon School

It was another cold and foggy morning outside Catahoula when I met Chilebrown and his darling wife, Ms. Goofy (he calls her that - I don't) for another food swap. They were on their way to another barbecue judging and he was in a hurry for coffee, so he thrust a plastic bag into my hands, showed me the contents quickly, mumbled a few directions, made an offhand crack about my inability to follow directions, and fled inside to the warmth.

I'm in bacon school.  Chilebrown assures me that the lesson is easy and that the results will convince me never to buy supermarket bacon again. He supplied me with enough curing salt, applewood chips and directions on a little card to get me started.

I took the stuff home and spread it out on the counter with the slab of pork belly that I bought at 99 Ranch. As far as I know, my slab has no pedigree other than that it's pork from, uh, the belly.

The instructions were simple enough - spread the salts on the belly, wrap in plastic and refrigerate for 7-10 days, "draining liquids as necessary." That last phrase sounds a little ominous but, otherwise, it seems like something I can do. Out of curiosity, I tasted the curing salt before spreading it on one side and then the other - it tasted salty and sweet. For all I know, it's just salt and brown sugar.  I'll have to do a little research...

So, anyway, that's where we are today. My belly is curing like mad in the fridge. So far (day two), it has not become necessary to pour off any liquids. 

Stand by for an update. 


Blogger Chilebrown said...

I have my fingers crossed.

Saturday, August 04, 2012  
Blogger Hungry Dog said...

I'd like to go to bacon school!

Saturday, August 04, 2012  
Blogger cookiecrumb said...

Brava, Zoomie! I never really expected you to try this, even though I knew you could.
If it comes out at all to your liking, buy a better belly next time. Marin Sun Farms?
Can't wait to hear of the results.

Saturday, August 04, 2012  
Anonymous Meredith said...

Sounds like a great kitchen exexcise. Hope it proves to be yummy!

Saturday, August 04, 2012  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Chilebrown, thanks for all your mentoring.

Hungry Dog, I think I can teach you now, but if you want to learn from the master, look at Chilebrown's blog and type Makin Bacon into the search window. Three very good lessons there.

Cookiecrumb, Good idea to start with a star of a belly. Next time!

Meredith, we are hoping so, too. It _seems_ relatively easy - we'll see...

Sunday, August 05, 2012  
Blogger Greg said...

You can bring home the bacon!woot!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012  
Blogger Zoomie said...

Greg, yup, now I'm prepared!

Tuesday, August 07, 2012  

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