Saturday, February 24, 2007

Mmm, homemade bacon

If I had known how easy it is to make bacon, I would have started doing it years ago. Well, technically it's pancetta I make because I don't have the gear to cold-smoke the pork bellies after I cure them. But I have a solution for that, more on that later. I was feeling kind of blue this morning, because I came in second in a thing on the forum to go a housewares show and report on it for the forum. But I think I am happy just to have had my essay selected as one of the three finalists. And I learned some things along the way, like that I have a lot more friends than I thought I did! Anyway, my cure for the sadness was to get back into the kitchen, of course. I'd finished the bacon on Thursday, the last step after curing it for a week is to bake it at a very low temp until it's 150 degrees, then cut off the rind. This time, I added maple syrup to the cure and, to get that smoky flavor, a couple of drops of Liquid Smoke. Since it's made from the same stuff that makes the smoke flavor when you smoke something, the taste is genuine. This morning I sliced up some of it (this might be the hardest part of using homemade bacon) and cooked it to go on bacon and avocado sandwiches (made with my own homemade sourdough bread, baked last night while I waited for that @*&#$@ contest voting to be over). The sandwiches were very good, and comforted my bruised ego ;-)

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