DUCK BACON!

So a few weeks ago I tried to make bacon in our apartment.
I bought pork belly and used a curing recipe found here.

How to smoke it indoors you ask!?
I wrapped the cured pork belly in some cheesecloth and suspended it with butchers twine mid way in the pasta boiling pot. In the very bottom of the pot was a layer of soaked cedar from cedar available for rolling around food (or fish) and roasting. I spritzed/christened some liquid smoke flavoring by Wrights into the hand shredded shavings. I then sandwiched this with a flattened layer of foil, and held this in place with a stainless steel vegetable steamer basket (similar to oven smoking foil pouches). I had to really control the amount of heat to fill the pot and not the house with smoke-and yet keep it contained in the pan. It wasn’t strongly smoked but had some flavor. I used too much salt but the pepper and fennel seeds in the cure added some really great flavors.

Now, about that duck….
(Think Porky Pig and Daffy Duck had a baby…)

Since Whole Foods sells smoked duck breast….there was something it needed as I sliced it for breakfast this morning…SALT! There was a lot of moisture still present.
The package stated that it was fully cooked, and cooked meats are pinkish in nature. But in the pan it really sizzled more than “pre-cooked” meat should in my opinion.

How to remedy: mix a 55% kosher salt 35% brown sugar 10% ground pepper rub and let sit after its been sliced really thin. It is not necessary to put a great amount of rub on the meat. I placed the slices flat on a paper towel and after rubbing one side, merely stuck them together in layers and rubbed the one on top. Then I sealed them in a sandwich bag so they can cure fairly quicky (hours vs. week).

I am optimistic that its enough to work with. The cost, well the duck was $7.50 for the same amount of pork belly costing $3. I don’t have to put as much effort into this on the front end and smoking is that flavor element crucial-as much as the cure phase of the bacon.

On a side note: making bacon now seems like its more cost effective to use an entire pork belly-or a few, and smoke them in quite a larger operation. If you didn’t live in an apartment…
If only…

Ciao!

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