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Makin' Bacon

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    Makin' Bacon

    Well I defrosted the pork belly. I had to give it a little bit of a finishing touch with cold water. I ended up splitting it up 2.5lbs and 1lb, its just kind of the way it looked best to cut. Cut the skin off an froze it, I'll make cracklins when I smoke the bacon. On the smaller one, I replaced the pepper with equal volume coffee grounds, otherwise I left it the same. The cure smelled amazing. I have a feeling this will be good, or really bad, with little middle ground.

    I couldn't believe how easily this went together. I think the waiting will be the hardest part!
    Last edited by bbantel; September 13, 2014, 04:17 PM.

    #2
    Attached some pics.

    One of them is of the ground coffee, I did it in a whirly grinder, so size varied a lot, but it was roughly the size for regular coffee pots. It's also a pretty nice coffee, an Ethiopian Harrar, which at the local place has a nice buttery finish. It amounted to about 2-3tsps. My guess is it wont really matter the type of coffee, but its what I had around.

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      #3
      Thanks for the pics. This is one of many things on my to do list.

      Comment


        #4
        Same here. And wings.

        Comment


        • bbantel
          bbantel commented
          Editing a comment
          Yeah, I'd like to go MH's wings too. I loooooove wings.

        #5
        Kind of off topic but, today was the first time I used the Rapala MH recommends - holy crap is that a good knife! *apologizes profusely to the Messermeisters next to it in the drawer*

        The coffee cure is much darker that the regular cure, so, I'm interested to see what happens - it smelled way better, I hope that translates to taste!

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          #6
          Ok, so the results are finally in. I was able to make the bacon and threw on 13lbs of pork butt since the smoker was warm. The smaller/darker slab of bacon is the one where I swapped out 1.5tsp of pepper for 1.5tsp of medium grind coffee. That was the only change to MH's recipe for the coffee cure. My taste for bacon will never be the same! I loved this recipe. I smoked everything with a 1:2 hickory:apple blend. Some have said the recipe is too sweet, either the hickory tames it a lot, or the fact that I grew up in Vermont and ate maple syrup by the gallon prevented thsi from phasing me. In a rare move on my part, I served this recipe, without a back up plan, to 6 guests for a brunch. Nothing but blind faith in MH's methods and recipes. It was a grand slam.

          At the beginning of this, I was experimenting with using coffee in a cure. In my opinion, the coffee cured bacon edged out the regular bacon by a noticeable margin. Over half the guests felt the same way too. The coffee added what I can only describe as umami to the bacon. Granted, I used a high quality, locally roasted by a master roaster, medium roast bean. I don't remember what I paid for the coffee, but I think its roughly $13-$15/lb. I don't know what would happen if I used grocery store (Folgers, chock full o' nuts), but I don't drink the stuff so I'm not about to experiment. I also notice the coffee bacon seemed to have a more mahogany color, which made it just look better. I didn't really taste coffee in the bacon, but it added a distinct element to it. The better half hates coffee and is a super-taster, she didn't like the coffee bacon as much as the regular, but didn't taste coffee either.

          Pork butts came out great. I broke the golden rule and started them after 10am. Tsk tsk. They finished around 12:30am, w/o a crutch (better half is very understanding, my cooking is a "process" and you can't mess with the "process"). I did manage to dry brine for 24hrs, and rubbed generously with MH's Memphis Dust. I thought I had plenty of Dust, but I didn't. I was probably 1/4c short, so the bark was good, but not exactly meteorite, flavor was still really good. Fortunately, I was able to try out my new gizmo, the "Porkinator" and I had all 13lbs shredded in about 1min. More on the Porkinator in a gizmo post later.

          In summary, I encourage you to try replacing ground pepper with ground coffee on some homemade bacon!

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            #7
            I will definitely try the coffee next time I do bacon. We don't drink coffee but the wife loves the smell

            Comment


            • bbantel
              bbantel commented
              Editing a comment
              The smell of the coffee cure before putting the pork belly in it was divine. I was hoping for a subtle coffee flavor to carryover, but that didn't happen. It really adds complexity to the bacon flavor though.

            #8
            I've been wanting to do a pork belly for a while now. I'll have to call the butcher that I use and get one. I love coffee and have a really nice one that I picked up when in Hawaii the last time. (I save that one for special occasions) Will have to give the coffee cure a try.

            Comment


            • bbantel
              bbantel commented
              Editing a comment
              Might be worth bringing out the nice stuff, of finding a local roaster. I only used 1.5tsp/lb of bacon, so it doesn't take much.

            #9
            Originally posted by bbantel View Post
            Well I defrosted the pork belly. I had to give it a little bit of a finishing touch with cold water. I ended up splitting it up 2.5lbs and 1lb, its just kind of the way it looked best to cut. Cut the skin off an froze it, I'll make cracklins when I smoke the bacon. On the smaller one, I replaced the pepper with equal volume coffee grounds, otherwise I left it the same. The cure smelled amazing. I have a feeling this will be good, or really bad, with little middle ground.

            I couldn't believe how easily this went together. I think the waiting will be the hardest part!
            Are you saying grounds or just coffee that has been ground? Just want to make sure what I will be doing.

            Comment


              #10
              I threw a couple tsp of whole beans into my bur grinder, then measured out 1.5tsp of freshly ground coffee beans and added them to the mix.

              I ground them to be roughly Kosher salt size, or drip filter size.
              Last edited by bbantel; September 23, 2014, 10:39 PM.

              Comment


                #11
                I’ve added plain old Folgers to rub before, and the result was amazing. It tastes absolutely nothing like coffee. A nice, earthy, umami, but more than that, it seems to add a layer between sweet and savory...

                Comment

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