Did you know that this is how canadian bacon starts?
It's true, really.
First, you start with a lovely brine (which we know all about from last month). My brine had beautiful sage and thyme from my garden, a little garlic, salt, sugar and pink salt (nitrates). See...it really is pink. You put your pork loin in this brine for 3 days. I had a humungo 6+ pound loin, which I cut in two and brined for 3 days. Then the loins sat in the fridge uncovered for 24 hours and developed a lovely tackiness...all the better to hold on to the wonderful smoke they were about to encounter.
Now, the smoking was the real challenge this month. All month long I hemmed and hawed over buying a real smoker. I really wanted The Big Green Egg (but at over $500, that seemed a bit silly at this stage of the game). I also looked at smaller smokers, including some electric models. After a bit of research, I realized there was absolutely no reason that I could use my already owned gas grill.
So, with a few easy modifications (pans of water over the lava coals and tin foil in the end holes), I converted my grill into a smoker. I used the indirect heat method and kept my grill at between 200 and 225 degrees and in about 2 1/2 hours...I had beautiful, smoked canadian bacon. (I also purchased a dual gauge, remote control thermometer, which measures the temperature of the meat and the grill itself...so cool!)
I now have about 6 lbs of canadian bacon (which is a lot of canadian bacon).
So, I sliced up much of it and wrapped it well and put it in the freezer for later use.
The boys and I sampled some slices of it and it was quite tasty. A little smoky, a little sagey, a little salty...really quite nice. I then decided to make eggs benedict (with homemade hollandaise sauce...but store bought english muffins).
It just hasn't been my week with egg based dishes. My hollandaise scrambled a bit and I had to strain it. It wasn't near lemony enough, nor salty enough. I will definitely have to try this again (especially since the boys gobbled these up...even in their imperfect state).
|Just keeping it real!|
All in all, another fun month playing with meat. I really can't wait to see what May's challenge is.