|Ready for the smoker!|
And the results? A-MAZING! (and a heck of a lot cheaper than the nitrate-laden offerings in the store!) We enjoyed our Mexican-inspired bacon on Christmas morning and will be eating BLT's with our cracked black pepper version with tomatoes and avocados tomorrow. We've taste tested all three varieties and are struggling to pick a favorite. YUM!!
As I mentioned in the how-to for curing bacon ( http://blog.mylittleprairiehome.com/2013/12/how-to-home-cure-your-own-bacon.html ), you can go wild in your choices of seasonings. I'm already itching to try a rosemary and garlic blend on the next go. . .savory cures are starting to really draw me. But first, I have to rest, chill, slice and freeze this batch.
|Oven roasted and re-dusted in spices!|
All of the options came out beautifully flavorful, unique and well worth the effort. That it is also much better for you (I sound like a recording on this issue, but nitrates are not good!) and much, much cheaper than store bought.
I think I may head back to the butcher tomorrow!
NOTE: If this is your first try at curing bacon, be careful of salt overload. The first day, you need to work a decent amount in all over your slab, but after that, you really are just sprinkling more on. Each day, your bacon will get saltier and firmer, so keep that in mind as you decide how many days to 'cure' your bacon. If you find you have over salted your bacon (you can cut off a small piece after thoroughly rinsing and air drying and fry it up), you can soak in water for an hour or two, then re-test. Do this BEFORE smoking, as the soaking will remove some of the flavor you have built up as well as the salt, and you don't want to lose the smoke flavor too.
|Brown sugar/maple, just smoked|
|Just out of the smoker|
|Sliced and ready to go!|
|Ready for the freezer|
|Slicing the black pepper version|