How to Make Canadian Bacon. An Easy Recipe for Homemade Loin Bacon
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How to make Canadian bacon
If you've made bacon before then you'll find Canadian bacon very easy to make, and if you've never before tried your hand at curing meat, then easy Canadian bacon is a great place to start.
Home curing meats sounds a whole lot tougher than it really is, but if you can mix together a brine or rub salt on a pork belly – then you can cure meat and you can start enjoying better tasting, healthier and far more affordable bacon and Canadian bacon at home.
There are 2 basic ways to cure bacon – the wet cure or the dry cure method. The wet cure method is probably easier (although they are both pretty basic) as all that you need to do is mix together a quite salty brine, submerge your cut of meat within that brine and keep it all in the fridge for a few days or so. The dry cure method involves rubbing a mixture of salt, sugar and usually some nitrites over the exterior of a chunk of meat and refrigerating it until cured, with some occasional flipping and turning (also pretty easy stuff).
Canadian bacon is made with a wet cure.
How is Canadian bacon different from regular bacon?
Canadian bacon is made from a piece of pork loin roast. Regular streaky bacon is made from a slab of pork belly. You can make a variation of Canadian bacon using a pork tenderloin as well. Canadian bacon is normally made with a wet cure, while regular bacon is best made with a dry cure (Although supermarket bacon is usually wet cured stuff).
How to Make Canadian Bacon
The following recipe is taken and slightly adapted from "Charcuterie" by Michael Rhulman and Brian Polcyn, a book very worth searching out if you are at all interested in making your own bacon and sausages.
- 4 liters of water
- 1 and a ½ cups of kosher salt
- 1 cup of sugar
- 8 tsps of pink salt (nitrite salt – or a mixture of 6.75% nitrites and 93.25% salt)
- 4 lbs. of pork loin, trimmed well to remove external fat
(This recipe is for a very pure, meaty tasting bacon. You can also experiment with adding fresh or dried herbs to the brine to flavor the meat.)
- Heat the water with the salt, sugar and nitrite salt until all solids are dissolved into the brine.
- Cool the brine in the fridge until chilled (Don't skip this cooling step unless you prefer to make Canadian bacon soup!)
- Place the meat in the brine, and put a plate (or something heavy) on top of the meat to keep it completely submerged in the brine.
- Refrigerate the brine and pork for 2 days.
- Take the pork out of the brine and rinse it off well.
- Cut into thin slices and fry up!
(If the pork is too salty, you can let it soak for a half hour or so in a pot of cold water. This will leach out some of the salt. Taste after ½ an hour and if it's still too salty, discard the water, fill up again with fresh new water, and repeat for another half hour.)
If you prefer to smoke the Canadian bacon prior to eating, let the bacon rest after bring uncovered in the fridge for between 12 hours and a day. Once the bacon has achieved a pelicule, it can be hot or cold smoked in your smoker.
More on making and smoking bacon or ham
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