A simple smoked English bacon recipe. It's not exactly traditional, but after a taste you won't care.
Course: Appetizer, Breakfast
Keyword: Bacon, Charcuterie
1rib-less pork loin roastabout 3-4 pounds, including the fat cap
10gramsor 1.5 teaspoons pink saltsodium nitrite
1teaspoonfresh ground black pepper
Combine the spices and grind to a fine powder in a spice grinder, then mix with the salt, pink salt, and sugar.
Stand the pork roast up so that the fat cap is facing up. Score the fat ¼ inch deep in a cross-hatch pattern, then flip over and cut next to the bone/spine a bit as if you were going to start removing the bone. Follow the bone with a paring knife, revealing an inch or two in, to make it easier for the cure to absorb, and to give you an outline of where to cut to remove the bone when the “bacon” is done smoking.
Rub the meat liberally with the cure, getting into all the nooks and crannies, then put in a zip loc bag or vacuum seal and refrigerate for 5 days, turning occasionally to distribute the juices.
After 5 days, remove the pork from the liquid, rinse, pat dry, then refrigerate for at least a few hours, preferably overnight, uncovered, which will help it form a skin that will absorb smoke, known as the pellicle.
Smoke the loin, fat side up at 225 for 3 hours, or until lightly browned and fully cooked (145-150F)* then cool, cut off the bone, slice, portion, vacuum seal and freeze or refrigerate until needed.
*Temperature noteI cook this "bacon" through since It's delicious shaved thin after cooking, put on sandwiches, etc. For a more traditional-style English bacon, cold smoke the loin, then chill in the freezer until half-frozen to make it easier to slice, or cook to a lower internal temperature, making sure you cook thoroughly before eating.