Monday, March 26, 2012
Bacon . . . HOMEMADE Bacon!!!!!!!
Sunday morning we had bacon and eggs for breakfast. We don't currently have chickens, so we didn't produce the eggs, but . . . amazingly enough . . . it was homemade bacon!!!!! Oh, and our apologies for the poor photos in this post - we've been teasing Boo that she was so distracted by the bacon she was unable to concentrate on her photography!
Of course, this was meat from our recent pig butchering. I found a recipe for making bacon, which didn't require any ingredients I don't have. Here is the recipe, along with detailed instructions.
There was a bit of trial and error involved here. I followed the instructions on the website, except that we had already removed the skin from the pieces of meat. Oh yes, and the website said to trim the meat to a nice rectangular shape. No way - I'm not wasting any potential bacon in order to have my meat look tidy. Every bit of our meat became bacon, and the slices are . . . rustic . . . in shape. Fine with us; we'll call this "Artisanal Bacon" and pretend we paid more for the trendiness of it. LOL
I halved the recipe, and still had lots of the mixture left over, after I had coated the meat with it. Then the meat sat in the fridge from Monday until Saturday, soaking up the "cure." On Saturday morning we baked the bacon in the oven for several hours at a low temperature (as directed on the website).
Here's what the meat looked like after it was baked, and before it was sliced (this is one of the two pieces). Please notice the artisanal, non-rectangular shape. LOL
After the baking, Rachel sliced some of it up, and we fried a few pieces. They were toooooooo salty! Oh my, almost inedible. Turns out, five days was much too long to let the meat soak up the cure - probably because my pieces of meat were small (because we butchered a small hog).
However, the next morning, I pulled out more of the meat, and I soaked some of the slices in water for 20 minutes before frying them. These were perfect!
And so, we had delicious bacon and eggs for breakfast!
Later, we used some of the bacon to flavor a yummy bean soup Rachel concocted for dinner. The soup also contained home grown miniature tomatoes.
I'm not sure any of my new homestead-y skills impresses me quite as much as having achieved homemade bacon. I'm mighty pleased!
Next week, however, we're going to make our first attempt at homemade ham, and will possibly have that ham for our Easter dinner. I'll let you know.