Let me tell ya, bison are huge and I got about 300 lbs of ground buffalo!! So I'm making bison bacon.
Venison bacon's been around for a long time and there's a bajillion ways to prepare it. I finally got around to making some using ground wild Wyoming bison and pork scraps. I used a spice/cure kit from PS Seasoning.
16 lb - ground buffalo burger
8 lb - pork scraps
1 pkg - PS Seasoning's Venison Bacon Cure http://www.psseasoning.com/collections/cures/products/venison-bacon-cure
3 - cups ice water
6tbsp - liquid smoke
Keep meat frosty thru the entire grinding process.
Here's the frosty ground buffalo burger just before it was broken down and mixed with the pork:
Grind pork scraps 3/16". Place ground pork in a garbage sack and chill in the freezer.
In a large tub mix the ground pork with ground buffalo. Keep the meat frosty. Mix cure with 3 cups of water and 6 tbsp of liquid smoke. Distribute cure mixture evenly to ground meat and then mix well. Keep meat frosty. To keep the meat cool I mix with a paddle, not with my hands. Grind meat again, 3/16":
Pack meat tightly into greased 11"x16"x2" cake pans. 3 pans will hold 25 lbs of ground meat:
Cover and refrigerate overnight; 8 to 12 hours.
Remove the bacon from the refrigerator. "Massage" the ground bacon again to remove any air pockets. Pushing on the bacon with an empty cake pan works well.
As a precautionary measure cover the bottom of the oven with aluminum foil. Bake, uncovered, at 175° for 3 hours. Check internal temperature (this batch was 135°) Remove from oven and drain. Flip bacon upside down on newspapers and pat dry.
Lay the slabs of bacon on oven racks covered with newspapers. Bake, uncovered, until internal temp is 140° -142° (about 1 hour more). If cooked higher than 142° the bacon will be dry:
After processing the sliced bacon should bend but not break:
Put freshly ground black pepper on about one-third of the bacon packages:
Remove bacon from oven, pat dry and cool in a freezer or refrigerator. Divide into serving size pieces. Slice, vacuum pack, and then refrigerate. Freeze after 2 weeks:
Bacon must be fried to eat:
The ground buffalo burger in this batch had about 8% beef fat in it.
Tried to make the bacon with two layers, one fatty or light-colored, and one layer lean or dark-colored burger. It wasn't worth the trouble. After cooking the color was pretty much the same throughout. The only advantage was it added a little "curl" to the bacon on the fatty side when fried.
It's important that the meat is kept frosty throughout the grinding and packing process. Of equal importance is using a large enough tub to have plenty of elbow room to properly mix the cure with the ground meat.