Pig Party Part Deux: Ham and Bacon are Done!

DSCN6659So it’s been a while.  Working 8am to 11pm will do that.  : P

The bacon and ham finished curing.  I am not prepared to call it a success.  I have very mixed feelings about the results.  But I’ll get to that.

So a couple of weeks ago, I took a pork belly from the Asian market, a pork sirloin roast from CostCo, and my pink salt, rubbed the belly, brined the roast, and put it all in the fridge to cure for ten days.

Fast forward to now.  I took the belly out, rinsed off the remainder of the cure ( the rub had all liquefied by this time), and dried it with paper towels.  Then, to make sure I hadn’t over-cured and made it all too salty, I cut off a piece, fried it, and tasted.DSCN6653It was a little sweet, a little salty.  If it had been really salty, I would have put it in a container full of fresh water and fridged it for another day, to try and leach some of the salt out.  Luckily, I thought it had good balance.  It was ready to go.

I probably should have done the same taste test with the ham, but I’m a busy man, and sometimes I forget the whole ‘measure twice, cut once’ mantra.  I just rinsed off the sirloin roast and dried it off, just like I had the pork belly.

Now both of these cuts were still raw.  But I didn’t want to cook them until they were falling apart.  140° seemed like a good target: cooked, but still holding together well, not falling apart.  So I put ‘em both in a 200° oven for an hour, then I checked ‘em with a thermometer.DSCN6659140° reached.  Cool fifteen minutes.  Slice.DSCN6664Dang.  That looks pretty good.  And it’s just as thick as I want it, way thicker than they ever cut it for commercial bacon.DSCN6668That ham looks pretty good, too… So what’s the problem?

The problem is that after having these wads of factory-farm-raised meat in my fridge for ten days and working with them extensively, the taste of it all made me want to gag.  I brought the bacon to a breakfast with my in-laws, and everyone seemed to love it, it all got eaten, but I got once slice, took a bite, and could not eat any more.  It kind of disgusted me.  It just tasted so… porky.  And not in a good way.

Like I said, I don’t know if anyone else even noticed anything off.  But the next time I undertake a project like this, I’m using GOOD pork.  I just need to find a place around KC that sells heritage breed pork belly…

So that’s it.  I’ve got a ham in my fridge that is probably fine, but I don’t know if I can stomach.  : P  Hopefully better news for the next post.

-Josh

Ham and Bacon are ready! on Punk Domestics

3 thoughts on “Pig Party Part Deux: Ham and Bacon are Done!

  1. I had some of the bacon, and I thought it was awesome!! Maybe you had just been living with it for too long…? I would love to try the ham, and then I can give you my expert opinion on that:)

  2. Familiarity breeds contempt? This happens to me when I cook sometimes. I took all the scraps and the bone from our (uncured) Easter ham and made an overnight stock with it, then used it to cook up some beans with the remaining chopped-up ham. And after all that work, I thought it had an awful, bitter note to its flavor. My husband declared it the best batch of beans I had ever cooked, and he and the kids ate it all up with no complaints. Go figure.

    I suggest you have a big ham-tasting party and feed it to all your friends and relatives. Then at least you won’t have to eat it all yourself.

    Remember: If everyone else loves it, it’s not really a fail.

    • That might be all there is to it. I hope it is, otherwise I’ve got two more sirloin roasts that are gonna end up sitting in the freezer till the end of time. : ) Thanks for the encouragement! And you’re right, if other people like it, I can claim success!

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