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

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