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Homemade Peameal Bacon


Betts
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I want to make peameal bacon and have it for Christmas. It seems possible but there is no definitive recipe on the net and I'd love a little coaching from someone who has done it. Horrors - some recipes call for smoking - those people obviously don't know what they are talking about. I can get something called Morton's Tenderquick - is this going to give me the right texture?

This expat thanks all who might help.

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Horrors - some recipes call for smoking - those people obviously don't know what they are talking about.

Why do you say that?

Looking at Tender Quick, it doesn't look like the right product. You don't need sodium nitrate; you only need sodium nitrite. I would look for a source for that (I use stuffers.com out of BC, who sell it as Prague Powder #1), and then follow the directions for Canadian bacon in Ruhlman and Polcyn's Charcuterie. You may want to reduce or omit the herbs; I've heard people complain that they make it taste like it's "not the real thing," though I like them. I'm assuming you'll also wish to skip the smoking step. And, of course, you'll have to roll the loins in cornmeal before slicing.

Edit: Sorry, missed the "expat" bit. Check out the Charcuterie thread here for info on sources for pink salt in the US.

Edited by mkayahara (log)

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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I went to a Christmas dinner with a slab of very slow cooked peameal bacon as an alternate to the roast turkey.

It was superb, tender and juicy, and I haven't had it at home as good, because I cook the commercial slabs too quickly.

You are right to eschew smoked peameal bacon. This is similar to Irish bacon, and a product called Canadian bacon in the U.S.

There is nothing wrong in using curing products with sodium nitrate, according to package directions. The nitrate will convert to nitrite during the cure.

True Canadian bacon uses the strip loin, not the tenderloin. Look for a slightly marbled slab.

Roll in corn meal when cured, but peameal flour can also be used, from a bulk store.

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You are right to eschew smoked peameal bacon. This is similar to Irish bacon, and a product called Canadian bacon in the U.S.

For what it's worth, although I've never had smoked peameal bacon, the entry for "pea meal back bacon" in Kate Aitken's Canadian Cook Book defines it as "loin of pork cured, smoked and finished with the pea meal," so presumably it is an authentic option. Perhaps an extinct one?

There is nothing wrong in using curing products with sodium nitrate, according to package directions. The nitrate will convert to nitrite during the cure.

I'm not sure that this is true for a cure as short as Canadian bacon, which is only 48 hours. Normally nitrate converts to nitrite through bacterial action over extended curing times - weeks or months - as in dry cured sausages. If used in Canadian bacon, you'd just end up ingesting it directly. The real question is whether or not there's enough nitrite in the Tender Quick to cure the loin fully in the specified timeframe.

Matthew Kayahara

Kayahara.ca

@mtkayahara

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You are right to eschew smoked peameal bacon. This is similar to Irish bacon, and a product called Canadian bacon in the U.S.

For what it's worth, although I've never had smoked peameal bacon, the entry for "pea meal back bacon" in Kate Aitken's Canadian Cook Book defines it as "loin of pork cured, smoked and finished with the pea meal," so presumably it is an authentic option. Perhaps an extinct one?

I have often seen smoked peameal bacon with a cornmeal coating at Costco. and other stores. From memory, it was Freybe's from B.C. I'll have to try it, but it should be similar to smoked pork loin from Ireland or the south of England, except rolled in corn meal. Too bad peameal is no longer used :smile:

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  • 7 months later...

Just an update- I made the peameal bacon and will post a pic when I do the next batch. It was unbelievably easy and tasty.

I bought a 2# chunk of pork back loin and mixed Mortons Quick Cure and sugar 1:1 and using the 2TB cure/ pound as recommended - so 1/2 cup of the mix per chunk of pork. Rubbed it in, placed in ziplock bag, refrigerated and turned it over daily. 5 days later - soaked it for an hour in cold water, patted dry and rolled in ordinary cornmeal. Let this dry uncovered on a rack in the frig overnight. Sliced into 1/3" slices, fried in a little butter/oil and enjoyed for breakfast and for sandwiches.

I did several batches as Christmas presents and even took some to a local chef who is into charcuterie. He loved it.

This was way cheaper than going to Canada to get some, having it shipped ( now there is a racket!). Except for the purchase of an electric slicer I am way ahead on $$ and the homemade product tastes just the way it should.

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