Wednesday, February 20, 2013

Makin' Bacon

Oh what the hell, I know it's a cliché but it's about as accurate a title as any.
Last night I began cold smoking the side of bacon left whole. I maybe hadn't thought it through entirely as well as I should have given that my smoking shack AKA the lean-to greenhouse I built on the side of the house, was on the side of the house. By virtue of crap windows and old brickwork (I'm blaming the windows) quite a lot of the lovely smoky goodness came into the house. This means that even now, a day later, there is a distinct odour of smoke.
Anyway, with the apple tree woodchips smouldering away nicely I left the bacon hanging for 20 hours. There are no pictures because a) it was really smoky and you couldn't see anything for all the smoke and b) I forgot and went to spin class and by the time I got back it was dark and you definitely couldn't see anything.
This evening then with the bacon lovely and cold I brought it in, admired the texture and feel of it and then got ready.
You'll notice the Ginger Pig Meat Book in the background. A great read but actually doesn't say much in there on how to slice bacon. So I took a stab in the dark and sort of rolled and folded it in half before tying with some crap string to keep it together.
My first few slices were just to even the end off so I won't show you those. I also grilled them pretty much immediately to see what it tasted like. It was very nice.
I began with a carving knife as you can see here-
but I found that it wasn't long enough and it also flexed a little it felt like as I was cutting through the meat. I swapped to a thicker and slightly longer knife and progress was far better, with each rasher coming away much better presented.
After getting about halfway through the side the meat was beginning to get warm and so wasn't cutting as well. I wrapped it up and put it back into the cold room and bagged up the rashers cut so far.

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