Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Pork Cheek Bacon

The pork cheek that I made confit with, came with its twin, which I turned into that wonderful meat product called bacon. I used the same process as the previous bacon I posted about. I make a few alterations though, firstly, and the easiest way to change things, I used different herbs and spices in the cure, and I gave it coating of white pepper powder before I hung it, secondly, I wrapped it in cheesecloth when I hung it, and lastly, after smoking it, I pressed it overnight in the fridge.

Thyme, Muscovado sugar and Szechuan pepper. These get combined with the 5% curing mix.

Rinsed, and patted dry after seven days of curing in the fridge (flipping each day).

Dusted in white pepper.

Wrapped in cheesecloth and tied, ready to hang for seven days.

Unwrapped after a week under the stairs. You'll notice a little white fuzz on the pork, that's a small amount of mold, it's important to keep an eye out for it.

It doesn't mean you have to throw away your porky goodness, just wipe off the mold with a paper towel dampened with some vinegar. But if you leave the mold unchecked for too long, it can grow into the interior of the meat, making it inedible.

Smoked to an internal temperature of 65°C, the smoker shouldn't go above 85°C.

Pressed between to baking dishes overnight.

Sliced, portioned and packaged.

Note: Check the pork cheek for glands, if found, remove. If meat comes from a butcher/supermarket you shouldn't find any, but best to check.