Bay of Pigs Bacon

Air dried cured meat and salami recipes

Bay of Pigs Bacon

Postby The Idiot » Wed Mar 22, 2017 12:19 pm

President, despot, freedom fighter, dictator, revolutionary, criminal, reformer, commie, father of the nation, tyrant, brother, enemy, leader, nutter, beacon of hope, darkest hour, liberator, sweaty ball bag: these are all words that can be used to describe one man. That man was Fidel Castro.

As a child of the 60s I grew up with the cold war, atomic fear, the space race and Fidel Castro. When I say I grew up with him I don't mean we used to meet up down the park, have a kickaround, smoke Capstan, drink cider and try and get Louise Brockbank to show us hers. No, indeed not; what I mean is that as I grew up Fidel was a part of the wider world we lived in. He was a menace for some, an example for others. For me he just there...

On November 26 2016 I discovered that Fidel had shuffled off this mortal coil, and I had one immediate thought: memorial bacon. I had a belly of pork ready to go and it seemed churlish not to celebrate the man's passing. I was neither a fan nor foe of his, but it did present an opportunity to put bacon together with two things with a Cuban connection: rum and brown sugar!

The Bay of Pigs bacon was supposed to be a one-off, but its popularity has now made it a staple in my armoury of pig products, and why not? It's delicious to the point of raising the question why more Cuban leaders don't die. Indeed, one person remarked that they couldn't wait for Raul to pop his clogs so I could device some memorial sausages.

The recipe is as follows:
For each kilo of belly pork:
22g Coarse Salt
35g Brown Sugar
2.5g Cure #1
40ml Cuban Rum*

An important note about the rum: You can get cheap rum, you can get cheap Cuban rum, but this bacon is all about the rum so if you're going to skimp you might as well not bother. I use 7 Year Old Havana Club. Don't use the 5 year old of the clear stuff; the 7 year old is so much better. Let's be honest, you might as well soak a tin of spam in Malibu unless you're going to do it properly!

The process is simple. First bone your belly. Don't do that thing where you simply slice off the ribs; bone it out properly.

Next lay it rind side down into a bag (or a large dish, but a bag is better). Mix up the dry ingredients, sprinkle them onto the flesh, then fetch the rum. Remember that you're toasting a dead man, whether you like him or not, so respect is due. Take a big mouthful of the rum, roll it round in your gob and swallow. You see, it's better already!

Pour in the required amount. I tend to put the bottle on the scale, tare it to zero then pour and check until the negative amount shows the right amount. Once done, stick in a drop more. Then take another mouthful, just because...

Squeeze out as much air as you can (I vacuum mine until it tries to suck the rum out and then hit the Seal button), seal the bag and lay it in the fridge, still rind side down. Overhaul it daily for eight days, and on the ninth day remove it from the bag, rinse and pat dry and put back in the fridge to air-dry a bit. The reason I did it for nine days was because that was the time of national mourning.

On the day of the entombment of his ashes I smoked the bacon. Because it was unseasonably warm I hot smoked mine. I did the first hour with oak and the second hour with cherry. Why? Because I like the combination of hearty bitter oak and sweet smooth cherry.

Once smoked, let it mellow for a day or two and you'll have Bay of Pigs bacon. Slice it by hand because the US embargo means you can't get slicer parts (okay, I like thick sliced bacon). Serve with eggs and a smile!
The Idiot Gardener - gardening, brewing, charcuterie, cooking and banjo playing, all without any clue whatsoever!
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Re: Bay of Pigs Bacon

Postby ozzy » Mon May 22, 2017 12:49 am

It's been a long time since I visited here, I like the recipe! I think I need to try this one!
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Re: Bay of Pigs Bacon

Postby wheels » Mon May 22, 2017 12:24 pm

The Idiot wrote:[b]... Let's be honest, you might as well soak a tin of spam in Malibu unless you're going to do it properly!

No there's a thought! :lol: :lol: :lol:

The recipe looks good. I guess with all that sugar that you have to be careful it doesn't burn?

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