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Thread: Michael Ruhlman's Maple Cured Bacon from "Charcuterie"

  1. #1
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    I recently finished eating a 5 lb. slab of this and I have to say it was the best bacon i've ever 'et. Here's the cure and the process. Of course, it's copyright Michael Ruhlman and you can check out more great cured meat recipes in his wonderful book Charcuterie.

    Maple Cured Bacon

    One 5 lb. piece of pork belly, rind on
    2 ounces kosher salt
    1/4 C. pure Maple syrup
    2 t. pink salt (a curing salt, not the Hawain stuff)
    1/4 C. Maple sugar (pricey, worth it)

    Simply mix up all the ingredients for the cure (it will be a sort of yellow slurry) and spread it all over the pork belly, making sure to get under all the nooks and crannies and on the sides as well. Make the coating as evenly as possible on both sides so the whole thing has a nice coating (including the rind). Place in a 2.5 gallon zip lock bag and sort of fold up the sides so that the liquid that exudes from the belly is in constant contact with the meat (will take a bit of folding, the bag will be much larger than the belly). Once you've done that, throw it in the fridge (36-40 degrees) for 7 days, flipping it over every other day. On the 7th day, remove the belly from the bag and wash all the cure off. Put it on some sort of drying rack (I use one of the cheapies from walmart used for allowing cookies to cool) and stick it in back in the fridge for 1 day to dry out (form the pellicle).

    Next, take the bacon out of the fridge and hot smoke it (about 200 degrees) until your therm reads 147. Take the slab out, place it in another zip lock bag, and immerse in a cool water bath to cool it quickly. Put it in the fridge, and now you've got bacon!!!!

    Ruhlman suggests slicing the rind off after smoking. I did it before smoking, because I wanted more smoke flavor for the bacon itself. I guess some people also leave the rind on and just slice as is (I'm going to do this next time...I've discovered I like rind on bacon).

    Good luck!

  2. #2
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    Phil, The book is on it's way. This post is what pushed me over the edge to buy it. I love Bacon, no better vegatable on the planet than Bacon.
    "When I die, I'll donate my body to science too see how big my smoke ring is "
    Lump, It's what I'm cooking over. Chris A, Thanks for letting me play here.

  3. #3
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    Bryan,

    If in your book bacon is a vegetable, then this is *definately* the book for you! Seriously, it's really well written and researched. One bit of advice...order your pink salt now. What's going to happen is you're going to want to make a few of the recipes after you receive the book, but you'll have to wait a week for the pink salt to arrive. The waiting will drive you nuts!

  4. #4
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    Originally posted by Phil R.:
    Bryan,

    If in your book bacon is a vegetable, then this is *definately* the book for you! Seriously, it's really well written and researched. One bit of advice...order your pink salt now. What's going to happen is you're going to want to make a few of the recipes after you receive the book, but you'll have to wait a week for the pink salt to arrive. The waiting will drive you nuts!
    Phil, Thanks for the heads up on the pink salt, I have plenty here, 2 lb bag. The book came today along with the sauces book, the sauces book is huge/thick. I have not looked at them yet as I watched Football all day. Go SeaHawks.
    "When I die, I'll donate my body to science too see how big my smoke ring is "
    Lump, It's what I'm cooking over. Chris A, Thanks for letting me play here.

  5. #5
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    Bryan,

    Let us know about any of you curing adventures out of Charcuterie...I (and I'm sure other people here as well) would love to compare notes!

  6. #6
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    I just started a batch of this today I recieved the book for Christmas and I have made a few items from it so far I really like everything I have made. I made the summer sausage and used venison instead of beef it came out great and I was able to keep the wsm right around the 100 degree mark for the first two hours.
    Phil, let us know what else you try and how it comes out I would love to hear

    Glon

  7. #7
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    Went to Root's Market after work and scored a fresh 5.40 lb pork belly for $2.59 a lb. Now all I have to find is Maple Sugar. Any hints on where to look? Remember, I'm in Amish town here so..... TIA.
    "When I die, I'll donate my body to science too see how big my smoke ring is "
    Lump, It's what I'm cooking over. Chris A, Thanks for letting me play here.

  8. #8
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    Bryan, that market is sweeeeeeeettttt!

    Q'n, Golf'n & Grill'n.... too many Choices!
    Gary
    Q'n, Grill'n & Chill'n.... life is good!

  9. #9
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    Bryan,

    Here's one place I found on the net. Hopefully others will chime in as well with good sources. $2.59 is a good price (at least compared to what I normally pay...somewhere around $3-3.50).

    I think you guys will really like the bacon...It is truly fantastic. You haven't had a BLT until you have it with this bacon. Out of this world!

  10. #10
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    Phil, I went to bed lastnight racking my brain of where to get the Maple Sugar local, since I had the belly and wanted to do it up fresh verses freezing the belly till the sugar came. Got up Wed morn for work still thinking on where to look. After my shower still nothing came to mind, then it hit me while getting ready. Health food store. So I called from work this morn and the first place said that they usually carry it, "it's so wonderful" she said but they were out. She was nice enough to tell me to call another Health food store, they would have it. So I gave them a call and sure enough they had it in 1lb bags @ $7.49 per lb, which was cheap compared to online. Also it's made right here in PA and does smell fantastic. I then stopped at Dutch Gold Honey on the way home for a pint of dark amber maple syrup $7.50 and picked up a 5 lb jug of Tupelo honey since it's back in stock for $21.35, love that honey. I'll take some pics along the way, and keep you posted. Thanks
    "When I die, I'll donate my body to science too see how big my smoke ring is "
    Lump, It's what I'm cooking over. Chris A, Thanks for letting me play here.

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