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Maple-Cured Canadian Bacon

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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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    Posted: 21 May 2013 at 09:21
On Saturday, I got two pork loin sections beginning their curing for Canadian bacon. The original loin was a little over 7.5 pounds, but after some careful trimming in order to remove excess fat and membrane, I ended up with the two Canadian bacon sections (just over two pounds each) and a pound's worth of "good" trimmings that were in strip or chunk form, which we are also curing just for the heck of it to make some sort of "pig candy." I have no new photos, because the camera was being used for other purposes that day, but the basic process is pretty well documented here:
 
 
With this attempt, I used the appropriate amount (by weight) of curing agent from Mad Hunky Meats:
 
 
This curing agent, called "TennerQuack," is Mad Hunky's answer to Morton's "Tender Quick," and is available here at a great price:
 
 
Anyway, I always balance the curing salt with a sweet of some kind, usually dark brown sugar; this time, however, I added 3/4 of a cup of pure Canadian maple syrup to each loin, so that it could soak up all that wonderful NorthLand goodness and produce some hopefully beautiful Canadian bacon. I've been turning and massaging the ZipLock bags containing the loin sections, in order to evenly distribute the cure and the flavour; time will tell, but I feel pretty good about this project, right now.
 
Side note: the "pork candy" is curing in TQ and honey; because the pieces were much thinner than a full-on loin section, it's probably ready for smoking - but we simply haven't had time, yet.
 
After all was said and done, I had a section at the "thin end" of the loin that was a little over a pound - I turned that into a true work of art by butterflying it, stuffing it and grilling it according to a really nice Serbian method:
 
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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 July 2013 at 12:08
This worked out really well - I don't have any photos because I had no camera at the time, but the salt, sweet and maple all came through very nicely. It might have needed just a touch more salt, but was otherwise perfect.
 
I smoked the cured loins in maple for several hours, using my AMAZN Pellet smoker, which is perfect for cold smoking. I wanted the Canadian bacon to be un-cooked, so that it would not burn or scorch when I heated up the slices. This worked very well, and is my preferred method over "bringing it up to temperature" before packaging; having said that, if I were going to slice and serve this as a cold cut or part of a meat and cheese tray, I would indeed bring the un-cut loin up to about 150 degrees, or a little less, depending on the current USDA guidelines.
 
All-in-all, I think I finally figured out how to make good, maple-cured Canadian bacon, and will be looking to apply this success to sausage and slab bacon, in the future.
 
 
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 Sepeptember 2014 at 13:12
Yesterday, I remembered that I still had a pound of this maple-cured, apple-smoked Canadian bacon tucked away WAY in the back of my freezer. 

I will NOT go into details about how it was packaged, because I didn't intend for it to be there so long and broke a LOT of "rules." What I will say is that when it thawed, I was very surprised and happy to see that it was in perfect condition, end-to-end, surface-to-middle. It sliced easily and beautifully, as well, revealing a perfect, pink centre.

This Canadian bacon had been cold-smoked only, not "brought up to temperature," but a few minutes in the frying pan took care of that. We enjoyed it with fried eggs on toasted English muffins, and the family agreed that it was some great stuff!

Now I need to make some more!
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