Bacon’s my friend (especially the kind that comes from a pastured pig).
I knew we had to try it.
It just so happened that I had two pork sides in the freezer (I must have had bacon on my mind when I got my half hog last year). So one – weighing over 5 pounds – came out, got doused with 1/3 cup kosher salt & 1/3 cup brown sugar and with peppercorn liberally applied. I halved the quantities that Brett uses, but I let the rub on the meat for two days instead of one.
Keith prepared the smoker with “cowboy” charcoal and a few BIG chunks of apple wood for additional flavor.
The end result? a little “wetter” than I expected (we used our wet smoker) but oh.so.good. Luscious, actually. Especially when eaten just off the smoker.
I sliced some – thick-cut bacon and froze it.
The rest was cut in finger-thick slabs to make “lardons” – bacon cubes that are tossed in a hot skillet to fry and top off a green salad – with warm balsamic vinaigrette made while deglazing the pan. And since we have lots of salad greens at the moment, that particular salad (with or without a poached egg or two) will often be on the menu for the next couple of months. As long as we harvest spinach and arugula… and when that’s over, then we can have peas with lardons and then when the peas are over, hopefully it’s time for tomato sandwiches with smoked bacon…
We plan to smoke the other side soon – I may cure even longer before smoking to see if more moisture is drawn out. And be sure to order whole sides again next month when we buy our pig, and smoke the bacon it as we receive our meat. I do wonder if the freezer affected the texture of the fat.
yeah… pity us. We got to smoke more bacon…