It's time to reward yourself with some "GOOD EATS"

Sunday, December 16, 2012

Christmas is almost here.

Christmas is almost up on us. I wont be doing much till after Christmas. I have some venison and pork butt in the freezer. Just waiting to be made into summer sausage. Its gonna be fun. Wishing all y'all a Merry Christmas. Bill

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

We Have Bacon

In my last post, I posted the recipe and a photo of the pork belly with cure rubbed on the belly.
 Now here is the rest of the story.
The pork has been in the cooler for not quite ten days. Wife said she needed the room in the refrigerator. So you know what that means. Yep, you gotta move it. It was ready anyway.
So here is the photo proof that it really happened. Wish y'all had some. Once you make your own, you will never buy store Bacon again. Bill
Bacon in the Smoker:
Just about Finished:
Sliced and Looking Good:
Vacuum sealed Freezer Ready:

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Its Bacon Time

Yeah, I have been out of bacon. This is not a good thing. Anyway managed to buy a pork belly from our local Mexican store. Not cheap price $2.29 pound but I got to choose the one I wanted. Well at least the best of the lot. I have been buying pork belly in case lots but you get what ever comes to you. Not always good. I really like thick bacon , not just thick sliced. I do however like thick sliced peppered with the skin on bacon. This is the kind of bacon I grew up eating and still love it. I am doing a dry cure, not like the old time salt cure but a sugar cure. I find that a nice balance between salty and sweet is outstanding. What kind of cure do you like? What kind of taste do you look for with your bacon? This recipe can be multiplied out for however pounds of meat you are curing. My bacon side weighted 14.78 pounds.
Dry Cure Recipe:
Bill’s Homemade Bacon


One 5# pork belly
¼ cup of salt
1 teaspoon pink salt, (cure #1) “the curing salt containing sodium nitrite, not pink-colored salt”
Flavor:  ¾ cup of Honey, Real Cane Syrup or brown sugar. (I use dark brown sugar)

Mix all flavor ingredients together.

 Rub pork belly with your cure. Be sure and cover completely and rub in good.
Place pork in a large zip lock bag and place in refrigerator. Turn over every day for at least a week. Some liquid will form in the bag, this is good, do not pour off liquid. (I cure for 10 days)
At the end of the week, remove from bag, and rinse under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels. Place back in refrigerator in an open container so that it dries well. It should be tacky to touch. Coat with course ground black pepper.

Smoking Bacon:

Heat smoker to 150° Place bacon in smoker hang or place on grates. Add your smoking wood, your choice, I like pecan or hickory. Fruit woods are nice also. Smoke for color and flavor. When the color you like is reached, increase smoker temp to 200°. When the internal temp of your bacon is 156° remove from smoker. We are not trying to cook the bacon, just trying to kill off any bugs.
Cool before slicing, I put mine back in the refrigerator over night and slice the next day. Package in vacuum bags and freeze.
All rubbed down:

Monday, November 19, 2012

I was out of Sausage

I really wanted to make some link sausage, But had been doing other things and was kinda tired.
 Had my pork already out of the freezer and thawed. So I says, OK make pan sausage, and I did. The recipe I used was new to me. But it looked good and was easy to make. It is pretty good sausage.
Here is the recipe:

Homemade Sausage Recipe

  • 5# of pork shoulder butt
  • 2 Tb. Purified salt. Kosher salt may also be used.
  • 1.5 Tb. Pepper Flakes
  • 1 Tb. Sage (rubbed or ground)
  • 1½ tsp. Ginger
  • 1 ½ tsp. Nutmeg
  • 1 ½ tsp. Thyme
Dissolve all seasonings in 1-1 1/2 cups ice water.
My notes, do not remove the fat: Fat should be 2 to 1 meat to fat ratio.
Run meat through grinder twice using course plate.
Add spices to water and mix with ground pork.

 I used my meat mixer, it does a good job but is hard to clean up.
If you want more than 5# just multiply ingredients. I made 20 pounds.
And I forgot to take a photo before packaging.
Ground Pork:
Freezer Ready:

Monday, November 5, 2012

Whats been Cooking.

Just a few ideas that have been going on at our house.
I call it GOOD EATS, bet you would to. Curing, Smoking meat and turning out some fine Bar-B-Que  is not that hard to do. Besides its a fun thing for the whole family and friends.
 Curing meat has been going on for hundreds of years.
Curing can be either wet or dry cure, I do both, depending on the cut of meat and the flavor profile I am trying to produce.
Bar-B-Que is taking a cheaper cut of meat and making something wonderful from it. Low heat and long cook. makes for good"Q"
Grilling is not bar-b-que, its grilling. Hot and fast cook, like a nice rib eye or T bone steak. And don't forget the burgers and hot dogs. And The blackened fish.
Sausage is another good food either smoked or fresh, I will save that for a later post. Thanks Bill
Picnic Ham: Hanging in the smokehouse.

Smoker Chicken
Bar-B-Que Pork Butt

Saturday, October 27, 2012

What do we cook on ??

Equipment, ? Fancy or plain can still produce some great results. As a kid I can recall roasting birds and fish just over an open fire. And dang I thought they were pretty tasty, still do. Although I now have what I think are better cookers.
 I am really interested in knowing what other folks are using. I am always open to learning new ways of doing things. Hoping some of you will share your knowledge with me and others.
One thing I have learned about my cookers is knowing what they will do and how they do it. Getting to know your equipment is giving you more control over what you are trying to accomplish, better tasting food. And a few pats on the back and hearing Man that was good food sure helps.
 I have a stick burner side fire box and a smoke house. Each has its own use. I also use what is commonly called a UDS (ugly drum smoker) I will have more on that one in a different post.
The stick burner is just that, it heats and smokes with wood. And will make some really good BBQ. But requires tending to often to keep the temperature where you want it.
My Stick Burner.
Oklahoma Joe Original

The Smoke House.
Home built from wood, heated with gas and wood chips for smoke.

And the latest addition is the Ugly Smoker.
I must say this smoker works great. I have read about how good they were for years. But its the truth, got a 12 hour cook at 250° on 6 pounds of charcoal. And several splits of hickory wood. The secret is being able to control the fire with air control.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Meat Prices

Watching the news last week, I am hearing about the upcoming shortage of pork.
 That is not good news for anyone. Especially for sausage and bacon loving folks. But then yesterday on the same news channel. Oh, there is no shortage of pork we are just gonna charge more.
 In reality I think the price is going up because of the drought in the mid West. And the federal law that says we have to have ethanol in our fuel, Which is made from corn. So the shortage is cost of feed not animals.
 I am not sure about pork but here in our area beef animals are not being replaced, because of feed cost.
Anyway I am about out of bacon. So I called Sysco Food Service, who I have been buying pork belly's from. And got a quote of  $2.14 pound. I just bought some back in May at $1.59 pound. Up $.55 pound in 4 months. I called back and cried a little bit and got a better price $1.76 pound. I ordered 120 pounds. The vendor sells Farmland pork, I like their meat. So I will be busy for a few weeks curing and smoking. I dry sugar cure my bacon and smoke with hickory or pecan wood.
 I will say this, if you ever make your own bacon you will never eat the store bought bacon again.
Here is a photo of the last bacon I made. If you need the recipe drop a comment. Thanks Bill
The good Stuff: