Monday, December 9, 2013

Bacon (yummy, juicy, tasty, pork goodness)

Here are a few pictures of the pork bellies that I purchased and made into bacon on the smoker grill. We sampled the bacon on Monday and it turned out perfect. I am not trying to preserve the meat just give it flavor. To make smoked preserved bacon is a much longer, more difficult process using a lot more salt and other preservatives. My bacon is just as good, but I use a freezer instead of a smoke house to keep the bacon for later days.

Looks like bacon
 Simple Recipe: 
Salt
Pepper
Sugar
Garlic Powder
Chancaca or Molasses syrup

Put equal parts of the dry contents in a bowl for rubbing on the pork bellies. Make sure you have good lean pork bellies, with a good mix of fat and meat. After rubbing the dry spices all over the meat (do not forget the sides) drizzle the syrup on the meat and rub in as well. Put all the seasoned meat back in the fridge and let it rest for an hour or two. You can adjust the salt as you like to flavor. I actually taste it on my finger to get a feel for what I like. There is no hard and fast here, but to be safe equal parts worked fine for me.

Now put it on the grill:
smells like bacon.
See the pesky onion getting roasted at the other end of
the grill?
I like a good slow smoke for my bacon. The lower the heat the better. I put the meat on the far side of the grill so that it is not directly over the heat while still getting a good smoke. The idea here is not to cook the bacon, it is just to smoke the bacon (with out inhaling). You will know when it is done when the meat has a good rich red smoked color and the meat has sweated a little bit. The meat should never get so hot you can not touch it with your hand.

Now remove the meat from the grill, trying your best to keep all the juices on it and once cool enough put it in a plastic bag and then the freezer. The freezer will firm up the bacon and it will absorb some of the juices and most important will allow for easier slicing.

Here is what was left of the smoked chicken and sausages as well as the roasted onion we had for dinner later in the day.
For the onion I slices a grid pattern in the top and season it with salt, pepper and a drip or two of olive oil. Let is roast over 3 hours and it has a nice caramelized outside and a warm sweet center. Yummy!
If you look you can see the snow capped Osorno in the background
Slice the bacon as you can, with a knife or on a meat slicer, and cook up in the frying pan for a good old Bacon Lettuces and Tomato sandwich.

11 comments:

  1. beautiful bacon. How muck per kilo were the bellies? Hard to find actual belly meat here. No Carcinara mercados here. Smoker is awesome!!! Do you use fruit wood? THe spring contraption on the back of the smoker is awesome . Sooo glad yall now have internet
    Eric

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  2. wondering what smoked mutton would taste like?? Just a thought?

    E

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  3. I'm glad you're preparing so well for my arrival this weekend!!

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  4. Eric I had to special order the bellies so that I could get larger bellies that were leaner. I made some a month ago that was nothing but fat. This round that I bought I got from a Carcinara in another town because my business partner Oscar liked the store better, but I could have just as easily got it in Frutillar as they are very accommodating. Pork bellies are pretty cheap here. It is poor people food so about $1.99/lb I am guessing. It was a little more because I special ordered the meat. I do use a fruit wood but I can not recall what it is called. A friend gets it for me. The only problems is that it is still wet/green, so I am stocking up.
    Also on the Spring Thingey on the smoker...... it is so simple and so cool. I did not design it. Dave did, one of the Mennonites who is also an engineer. I have never seen a spring setup like this in the USA but is works perfect as well. Thomas can open the lid himself.
    Thanks Jim
    BTW: Smoked mutton is awesome tasty, infused with garlic cloves and smothered with balsamic vinegar, salt and pepper.

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  5. Emily
    It was supposed to be a surprise since you never read the blog. So act like your are surprised when you get here! The bacon here bought in the grocery store is very, very, very salty. Most Chileanos like salty meat. So if you go to McDonalds here (don't you will be disappointed) the burgers are very salty and you will throw it away.

    Daddy

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  6. Forget the bacon and the bellies...check out that VIEW. Oh, man. And I must have a table like that. It is a work of art. Produced by the Mennonites? I'm officially jealous again -- the weather looks stunning.

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  7. Yea Lori and I were sitting there saying that if we had set up outside in SC that we would have melted in the heat. It was about 78 degrees out.
    Now as to the table. The Mennonites have forgot more than I will ever know and I am not just saying that because they read this blog (Hi Bertha:) but I built the table under the tutelage of Guillermo who is the most excellent furniture maker and house builder in Chile.... ok he is good and he helped us build it in his shop.

    Thanks Jim

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  8. Letting you build it in his shop is so gracious! I'm really glad that you know how to do this kind of work so I can put my order in for a duplicate. xoxo

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  9. I am trying to purchase some wood working equipment from Matt P. if he will get off the stick. But in all fairness Guillermo is an "Artist" with wood. I just piddle. I knew what I wanted and he helped me put it into wood. The table easily seats 10 with ample room in the center for food bowels. The legs fold up and it has matching benches. You can tell I built the benches because they do not sit level.
    NOW, Guillermo made us some side board-tables for the kitchen / dinning area that were spectacular, affordable and furniture quality. This is who you need to build your house and furniture. They do everything in house.

    Jim

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  10. Hi, Jim we heard you! I have to admit i highly recommend my husband! He is pretty amazing. * wink, wink* but you're bacon is pretty amazing too!

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  11. Oops, spell checker alert.... should be * your*

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