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Charcuterie: Lamb BLT from Start to Finish


Sqwertz
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This sandwich took me a few days to make but it was well worth it. Plus I have enough lamb bacon left to make another 8 or 10 of these. And plenty of lamb bacon fat for whatever tickles my fancy.

Raw, bone in lamb breast, halved, for $.99/lb.

Lamb Breast - Raw

(Forgive me, I don't know how to intersperse photos and text and this site so I used links)

This was cured in the "basic cure" using the salt-box method with a head of fresh-pressed garlic for 2 days in the fridge. Then wiped down and smoked over pecan for 3 hours at about 165F.

Lamb Breast - Smoked

The lamb was then deboned, sliced, and cooked in the oven at 250F for about 30 minutes (that's about 1/3rd of a boned slab's worth of lamb bacon you see here). Lamb bacon can be tough and rubbery but slow cooking in the oven on a half sheet pan solves that.

Lamb Bacon - Cooked

Then assembled into a Lamb BLT with thin sliced red onion, cucumber, cheese, and mayo (as well as the lettuce and campari tomatoes). Served with garlic olives and peperoncini.

Lamb BLT

It's going to be hard to top this at dinner time.

-sw

Sandwich - Lamb Bacon Onion Cucumber Cheese 2.jpg

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I use the Brinkman "Gourmet" (charcoal version). It runs about $60 at Home Depot/Lowes. Any smoker will do, the trick is getting to know it and use it properly. This was done with just a small bit of lump, replenished a few times and with raw pecan wood on top of that to smoulder. It was 104F outside that day so 165F was as low as I could possibly get. And that fluctuated quite a bit. This is not a unit for cold smoking but with patience, you can keep it pretty low and "almost cold smoke".

-sw

Edited by Sqwertz (log)
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Bread? Pbbbt. I'm strictly cured meats, terrines, and pickles in my shop. Cheeses and breads are the shops adjacent to mine on either side.

And no, I didn't toast the bread because that's not how it works in my house. And I've already taken a beating for that in another forum. You already have crispy bacon and crispy lettuce. You need fresh, squishy white bread for texture contrast. It should stick to the roof of your mouth. Save that toasted white bread for your peanut butter and jelly sandwich.

-sw

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That looks like an awesome sandwich, Sqwertz. Really envy your house as well - would love to live with the forest like that. I am smack bang in the middle of an urban jungle. Concrete everywhere. Ugh :(

There is no love more sincere than the love of food - George Bernard Shaw
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Oh. My. God.

So, suppose I have no smoking apparatus aside from a gas grill (put wet wood chips in a disposable aluminum pan over a burner on one side, meat on the other, with the burner off), with no way to keep the temperature under about 225F. How closely could I approximate this?

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Yous should do OK. Maybe just smoke it for an hour to flavor it lightly. The lamb should be as dry as possible and at or near room temp (take it out of the fridge 1.5 hours earlier). Use as indirect heat as possible.

My first take on this the lamb wasn't smoked at all and it was still great stuff. Lamb shouldn't be heavily smoked anyway. I don't know anybody that had tried it and wants to try it again. There's nothing to stop you from trying it before you decide to smoke it or not. I would even SUGGEST doing that as there's still time to leach some salt out of it at that stage - if it's too salty.

Here's some pics of the unsmoked version. Sandwich is with avocado and ranch-mayo.

(And no, I don't own any sort of shop - that was just a figure of speech for a theoretical French market street)

-sw

Lamb Bacon Stacked.jpg

Lamb Bacon - Sliced.jpg

Lamb BLT 1.jpg

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Two more notes. It's important to "fry" it up in the oven not too hot an fast. Otherwise it can be slightly tough. My pani fries have nto turned out as tender. There can also be some silverskin hidden in those breasts. Some website out there mentioned how to remove it. I haven't hit any in this batch yet, but I did on the former batch. And FWIW, I did zero research on making lamb bacon until AFTER I started this thread. I like to cook first, and ask questions later if need be.

Also, you just don't want the fat to start seeping out too much when you smoke it. A little fat is OK. The unsmoked version was baked in the oven for 2 hours at 200F to "loosen it up" some. So 225F shouldn't be too hard on it. Bacon is pretty dense stuff and not a lot of water to evaporate.

-sw

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