BRADLEY SMOKER | "Taste the Great Outdoors"

Smoking Techniques => Curing => Topic started by: mjdeez on March 04, 2011, 08:53:16 pm

Title: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
Post by: mjdeez on March 04, 2011, 08:53:16 pm
Been too busy with work and meat this week to post much but it's been fun (the meat part).  Good sales this week... I bought 3 briskets, a pork loin, a picnic ham, 4 turkey thighs, some salmon / tuna, and took some pork jowls out of the freezer to make some Guanciale. I also made my first sausage, but since I never keep it simple, I made bratwurst, bockwurst and breakfast sausage. My conclusion: pusherman (CRG) got me. Can't wait to make more bockwurst. But that's another thread.

So... I took the pork loin, ground about 1/4 of it to make 2lb of ground lean for dumplings, cut about 2 lb for some nice pork chops now in the freezer, and the other 4 lbs are currently curing in my fridge as Canadian bacon. I'm not a fan of the sweeter bacons, so  I decided to use Ruhlman / Polcyn's savory belly bacon recipe but added some fresh thyme. Essentially this is MTQ + garlic (mine was smoked) + peppercorns + bay leaves + the thyme. 

Guanciale (from the Italian word for cheek, guancia) -- this is from Ruhlman / Polcyn  page 47. Seems like an excessive amount of salt / cure (like 3x what i'd expect) but we'll see how it comes out. This is basically a pancetta recipe (unsmoked bacon).

Pork jowl on the left. 1/2 pork loin on the right.
(http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z344/mjdeez1/1st_ssg__trky_beef_pastami__guanc__can_bacon/IMG_5512.jpg)

A little flavor. The garlic was cold smoked.
(http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z344/mjdeez1/1st_ssg__trky_beef_pastami__guanc__can_bacon/IMG_5515.jpg)

The pork jowl. I wanted to eat this raw. I felt bad salting this, thinking there may have been a more savory way to cook this, but I'm looking on the bright side: I split this hog w/ my friend and she's got the other jowl!
(http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z344/mjdeez1/1st_ssg__trky_beef_pastami__guanc__can_bacon/IMG_5513.jpg)

Ok, so here's where we are now... curing in in the fridge. Canadian bacon on the left and guanciale on the right.
(http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z344/mjdeez1/1st_ssg__trky_beef_pastami__guanc__can_bacon/IMG_5516.jpg)

more to come, but not for a week or so.
Title: Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
Post by: DTAggie on March 04, 2011, 09:02:49 pm
go BIG or stay home!  Dang!
Title: Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
Post by: squirtthecat on March 04, 2011, 09:07:58 pm

Very nice!

I'll be interested in how that twist on CB turns out..
Title: Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
Post by: mjdeez on March 04, 2011, 09:11:43 pm
go BIG or stay home!  Dang!
;D I try to be frugal.  But there's so much out there that I've wanted to make, so when i saw all this meat on sale I couldn't resist. Most will go in the freezer anyway.  And all this talk about turkey pastrami and my co-worker asking what would happen if you bring brisket pastrami up to 190*F... how could i NOT find out?  8)
Title: Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
Post by: La Quinta on March 05, 2011, 01:16:40 am
Mjdeez...looks great...I appreciate your mixing it up on the CB...can't wait to see/hear how it comes out. So educate me about the guanciale please? I assume it is hanged? And dried? I live in a very warm area and have always wanted to try a pancetta or guanciale...but think I'm screwed because of the heat here...true?
Title: Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
Post by: 3rensho on March 05, 2011, 01:24:53 am
You're gonna love that stuff.  When I make Guanciale I always make a big batch of bucatini all'amatriciana.  Good stick to your ribs winter food.
Title: Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
Post by: mjdeez on March 05, 2011, 07:00:26 am
We don't eat too much CB in my house. I actually got it confused with pork roll when I was ordering my side of pork, that's how seldom I've eaten it my life. The farmer gave me a couple of packs of CB to try and they tasted around as sweet as I would expect looking at the recipes on this site and in books. I'm hoping it just tastes like awesome bacon, but it will be interesting (new for me) either way. I'll let you all know how it turns out.


The guanciale is new for me. I didn't ask for the jowl for my first side of pork 2 yrs ago and didn't really know that was such a desired cut until I saw some lunatic eating the meat off of a pigs face on an episode of Criminal Minds. For a 2 lb jowl, the recipe calls for 1/2 cup kosher salt, 1/3 cup sugar, 2 cloves garlic smashed, 15 peppercorns cracked, 1 bunch thyme. Mine was a 2.5 lb, so upped the qtys, plus I added bay leaves. Cure in non-reactive container in the fridge, re-distributing / flipping daily, for 4-6 days until the jowl feels stiff (not squishy). Rinse with cold water, pat dry and hang for 1 to 3 wks depending on temperature and humidity until it is completely stiff. Edit: Forgot to mention the authors say a teaspoon of Cure #1 is optional. This is a similar ratio of the MTQ substitute on susanminor.org so I just used the correct amount of that in place of the salt / sugar / cure, and then added a little extra sugar to get the ratio correct for this recipe. /edit

I've never hung food to dry so I'm not sure how cool it really needs to be. I'd guess 55-58*F is ideal, like a cave. I plan to hang in my basement and hope it stays dry enough. I may just put a fan near it and blow air across it at low speed to help the drying process, since the area in my basement is not exactly a clean place... it's my well tank closet.

bucatini all'amatriciana -- I had never heard it this, but thanks for sharing it... I will definitely be making it if the guanciale comes out ok. It's good to have another recipe for it.
Title: Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
Post by: 3rensho on March 05, 2011, 11:18:46 am
Actually you need to maintain RH within a specific range when you dry meat.  If it hardens too quickly on the outside then you will end up with spoiled meat - case hardening and that can be dangerous.  Read a lot before doing.  This is not rocket science but there are norms to be followed.   bucatini all'amatriciana - just Google it.  Great stuff.
Title: Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
Post by: mjdeez on March 09, 2011, 06:14:30 pm
Actually you need to maintain RH within a specific range when you dry meat.  If it hardens too quickly on the outside then you will end up with spoiled meat - case hardening and that can be dangerous.  Read a lot before doing.  This is not rocket science but there are norms to be followed.   bucatini all'amatriciana - just Google it.  Great stuff.

Thanks for the tip, I was thinking it would be more like fermented sausages but I can duplicate those conditions for at least another week in my unheated hallway with a humidifier. I'm aiming for 55F and 70 to 75%RH.


So..... the guanciale is out of the cure, rinsed, and hung to dry.  It smells awesome.

The lean side:
(http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z344/mjdeez1/1st_ssg__trky_beef_pastami__guanc__can_bacon/IMG_5534.jpg)

Hanging:
(http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z344/mjdeez1/1st_ssg__trky_beef_pastami__guanc__can_bacon/IMG_5535.jpg)

Closeup. The second string is in case the first one fails.
(http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z344/mjdeez1/1st_ssg__trky_beef_pastami__guanc__can_bacon/IMG_5536.jpg)
Title: Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
Post by: bears fan on March 09, 2011, 06:39:32 pm
Wow, you must be a bachelor because there is no way in hell my wife would go for that hanging from our ceiling. 
Title: Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
Post by: mjdeez on March 09, 2011, 06:50:59 pm
Wow, you must be a bachelor because there is no way in hell my wife would go for that hanging from our ceiling. 

ha ha, no I waited till she left for a bit and then hung it up. (Actually, it just happened this way, it wasn't deliberate.) She came back and said, "what the @#$* is that?"  Then she googled it and apparently lots of wives are surprised to find meat hanging from the ceiling.  But she is not thrilled, no.
Title: Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
Post by: bears fan on March 09, 2011, 07:00:49 pm
We got a good laugh out of that here.  My wifes response was "NO WAY" and she agrees with your wife.
Title: Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
Post by: mjdeez on March 09, 2011, 07:08:26 pm
We got a good laugh out of that here.  My wifes response was "NO WAY" and she agrees with your wife.

Yeah the original recipe calls for 1-3 wks depending on humidity but i've also read that it can cure for 1 to 2 months. I mentioned 2 months to her and got a look. It wouldn't work anyway because as the temperatures get warmer that hallway will heat up, and I'll need to move it downstairs in the basement... a finished basement that is her mother's living quarters... (evil laugh) It will probably end up in the well tank / electrical closet in the basement.

Really what I need to do is find a cheap / free fridge and turn into a damn curing / fermentation chamber, like what ExpatCanadian has done. My wife is on board with this idea.
Title: Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
Post by: bears fan on March 09, 2011, 07:26:19 pm
Deck the halls with boughs of..........what the heck, thats not holly! :D
Title: Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
Post by: La Quinta on March 10, 2011, 12:40:43 am
My husband would let me do it I think...would drive the dogs crazy...HOWEVER...we can't get our home cool enough for 2 months...I am so looking forward to seeing this when it's done!!! I find the entire process of hanging the protein really interesting...I have never lived in an environment that it was possible so...keep us updated!!!
Title: Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
Post by: mjdeez on March 10, 2011, 06:49:18 am

Quote
Deck the halls with boughs of..........what the heck, thats not holly!  :D

Smells a lot better than holly. I used some fresh thyme. Maybe 1/3 to 1/2 of the package, and it is extremely fragrant. My hallway smells awesome... who needs candles when you can have your house smelling of pork and herbs?


Quote
My husband would let me do it I think...would drive the dogs crazy...HOWEVER...we can't get our home cool enough for 2 months...I am so looking forward to seeing this when it's done!!! I find the entire process of hanging the protein really interesting...I have never lived in an environment that it was possible so...keep us updated!!!

I will definitely keep you updated. I wish I had thought of the hallway idea a month ago. My hallway is pretty chilly in the winter time so it is an ideal place where I can keep an eye on it. I should be good for a week or two but it will start warming up and I'll need to move it.  My dog had her eye on it but she's a really relaxed old dog so she forgot about it pretty quickly and took a nap.
Title: Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
Post by: mjdeez on March 12, 2011, 09:01:54 pm
Canadian Bacon update:  It tastes good.

7 days in the cure, rinsed off and left on an upside down bradley rack in the fridge to form the pellicle. And tied up.
(http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z344/mjdeez1/1st_ssg__trky_beef_pastami__guanc__can_bacon/IMG_5546.jpg)

In the smoker.
(http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z344/mjdeez1/1st_ssg__trky_beef_pastami__guanc__can_bacon/IMG_5547.jpg)

Out of the smoker.
(http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z344/mjdeez1/1st_ssg__trky_beef_pastami__guanc__can_bacon/IMG_5550.jpg)

Cut up and bagging... Mostly sliced, but I left about 1/2 lb diced for cooking.
(http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z344/mjdeez1/1st_ssg__trky_beef_pastami__guanc__can_bacon/IMG_5553.jpg)
Title: Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
Post by: 3rensho on March 12, 2011, 10:12:37 pm
Looks SO good.  It's almost breakfast time here - please place a dozen slices in the transporter and have Scotty do his thing.
Title: Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
Post by: mjdeez on March 13, 2011, 07:19:34 am

Quote
Looks SO good.  It's almost breakfast time here - please place a dozen slices in the transporter and have Scotty do his thing.

Ok, I put some in and hit start, but all that happened is the package is nice and hot. Maybe the transporter is broken. Or maybe it is a microwave, not sure which.

I probably should have added a little more detail about the taste earlier. The canadian bacon turned out really well as a savory canadian bacon. There was no maple sugar / syrup added, just the sugar from the MTQ sub cure used.  I would definitely try to make this again, and while I might change up some of the aromatics (herbs, etc) I will probably keep the cure part the same as this time.

Title: Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
Post by: mjdeez on April 11, 2011, 05:16:40 pm
Guanciale update:
Ok, the Guanciale was finally ready to be cut down today -- mostly because the temperature of the unheated hallway was up into the 60's with today's nice weather (high 80s).  I was at work so I let my wife have the honor of cutting it down and put it in the fridge.

I cut into when I got home from work. I'll post some pics tomorrow, but the taste is fantastic. It is amazing, tastes so much better than it looks (pretty much like the other pictures already posted).  My biggest concern right now is if I'll end up with food poisoning, in which case: Probably no pics tomorrow. Fingers crossed.

Title: Re: Canadian bacon and Guanciale
Post by: mjdeez on April 11, 2011, 05:54:02 pm

My wife wanted to try some also, so I got the camera out and took a couple of pictures.  Enjoy!

(http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z344/mjdeez1/1st_ssg__trky_beef_pastami__guanc__can_bacon/IMG_5558.jpg)

(http://i1185.photobucket.com/albums/z344/mjdeez1/1st_ssg__trky_beef_pastami__guanc__can_bacon/IMG_5559.jpg)