Yesterday after four hours of brewing, we had a couple of beers while some of the salted pork from previous bacon attempts sat gently smoking in a make-shift smoker.
After about an hour and a half, the handful of wood chips were consumed, leaving us with this exciting slab of hot-smoked, dry-cured pork:
A friend’s new meat-slicer made short work of it:
It looked like bacon, but would it taste like bacon?
Yes, yes it would.
In future, I think there is not much point in air-drying the bacon as it requires such large quantities of salt that we are forced to soak the bacon for up to an hour with successive batches of water before it is edible.
But we can at least confirm that smoke is indeed the missing ingredient – the delightful, subtle, all-transforming flavour that was missing from the original cured pork.
We have refrigeration; there’s no point in air-drying the meat unless you’re short on space or you enjoy the look of it. In future it will be far more practical to cure and marinade smaller cuts of meat, hot-smoking them to last refrigerated for a couple of weeks.
The future is starting to look pretty tasty!