Monday, February 6, 2012

Making our own Bacon

As you can see, we took our pigs in to the processor. We used Cobbs (click here), because they came recommended by Wes & Kelly Adams over at Adams Blackland Prairie (click here), and Robert Hutchins over at Rehoboth Ranch (click here).
Cobbs is a humane kill certified facility (click here), and that was very important to us. Our pigs lived over there about a week before processing, so they were well treated and very happy before they left this old earth. =)
This is 1/2 a pork-belly, that we had to cut into manageable pieces, for our very first bacon! Pork-belly is the name for the cut of meat that is classically turned into bacon. You can also make "buckboard bacon" which is made from roasts, so it is leaner. (We are planning to try that next!) We made three recipes this time, so we can decide what we like best:

This is recipe 1 (click here)

It is a dry rub, not too hard, but it did make a mess on the bag while we were putting it in the bag.

Recipe 2 (click here). First you coat with local honey...
Then you give it a generous cover of black pepper. (No, we do not use McCormick, we buy whole organic peppercorns, in bulk from Frontier Natural Foods Co-op, and grind our own.) We love pepper. Good, fresh pepper! Once you try it, there is no going back! (we grind it in a coffee grinder)

Then you try to pack it with a salt, etc mixture...ha,ha. That was a mess!
Debbie said there has got to be a better, neater way to get the meat in the she grabbed one of those flexible plastic cutting boards, and inserted it into the bag...

...which made a lovely chute! (What a good idea~ it makes me wonder what else we could use that cutting mat for!)

And last but not least, recipe 3 from Backwoods Home magazine

We just mixed an UN-godly amount of yellow mustard (Can you tell that we don't eat yellow mustard?), with some sugar, salt & black pepper, covered one half, slipped it into the bag (Thanks again, Debbie!) and flipped it over, poured in the remaining mustard mix, and that was done! =)

We vacuum sealed each one, but you could also just use Ziplock bags or some other well sealing container. They are in the fridge now, and we just have to turn them & knead them every day for 7-10 days...we could smoke them, but I don't think that that will happen, as we don't own a smoker.

Rinse well, soak, chill, slice and cook!

~Thank you, Adrienne for doing the really messy part of the job...
We will add to this post telling you how it turned out!

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