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.It 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.140° reached. Cool fifteen minutes. Slice.Dang. That looks pretty good. And it’s just as thick as I want it, way thicker than they ever cut it for commercial bacon.That 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.