Giving the Gift of Bacon

Hello there loyal followers!  I apologize for being MIA again but it’s been a really busy month for AlbuKirky Seasonings.  Team AlbuKirky has been busy with craft shows and demos all month. I also have been busy packing gift boxes for some big corporate orders.  It’s been a lot of work, but it’s also very exciting to see our business grow one bottle at a time.  2014 has been our best year ever and we can hardly wait for 2015!

Homemade Bacon and Pancakes

Unfortunately, I have not had much time this month for cooking, which means I don’t have anything to write about.  You would think after 4 years of blogging I would have a inventory of backup posts, but I don’t.  Maybe I’ll work on that next year.  Anyway, due to my lack of posts this month I think I’m going to have to make up for it by playing the bacon card.  Yes, I’m going to resort to pictures of homemade smokey pork goodness to restore reputation and get back into your good graces.  Actually, this is not a totally shameless bacon post,it is a story of giving and Christmas Spirit.

This Christmas Cheryl and I decided we wanted to give some really special gifts to some of our friends this year.  We harnessed our combined culinary powers to make homemade bacon, bread and beer jelly.  Cheryl was responsible for the bread and beer jelly and of course, I would make the bacon.  Hopefully Cheryl will share her beer jelly recipes, maybe if you leave a few comments below or on our Facebook page she’ll post them sooner.

Casa Bacon

Casa Bacon
10 lb Pork Side
1 cup Kosher Salt
1/3 cup of Sugar
1 tablespoon of Pink Curing Salt (Optional)

Coat the entire pork side with the salt cure.  Place in a large stainless steel pan, glass dish or ziplock bag and refrigerate for 7 days.  After curing remove from the pan and wash the salt cure off with cold water.  Pat the pork dry and give both sides a light coating of oil.  Season both sides liberally with Casa Seasoning and coarse pepper.  Slow smoke the pork side at 225º for 3-4 hours, internal temp of at least 160º.  The bacon is now ready to slice, fry and serve.  Bacon will last a good 2 weeks in the fridge.
A few months ago I made a batch of bacon with using my Casa Seasoning and it was really good, the garlic and pepper made for a really unique flavor combination. I usually use brown sugar in my bacon cures, but this time used regular sugar.  I needed to offset the salt with some sweet but I didn’t want the molasses in the brown sugar to clash with the garlic and pepper in the Casa Seasoning.  

Casa Bacon on the Big Green Egg

For the smoking I used oak charcoal and some big chunks of cherry wood. I wanted a light and slightly sweet smoke that would compliment the garlic and pepper in the cure.  My usual mesquite charcoal would have been too much for the flavor profile I was looking for.     Once it was all done, I though it was perfect, it peppery, garlicy and slight sweet.  I hope our friends enjoy it as much I as I did.

Now that the bacon is done its was time for Cheryl to get to baking.  She baked up some beautiful loaves of Italian bread.  It’s a big and dramatic loaf of bread that was sure to impress. Cheryl has been perfecting her bread making skills and these were the best loaves she’s baked all year.  
The Gift of Bread, Bacon and Beer Jellies

So far I have delivered our Christmas packages to a few of our friend and they were super excited.  The were all like little kids with a new toy.  But this was better than a toy because you could eat it!

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