As I mentioned in a previous post, you just can’t buy decent peameal bacon in Calgary and this is made obvious everytime we go to Ontario. So as a result I decided to fix the situation and make it myself.
Peameal bacon is bacon that has been brined and not smoked and then is rolled in cornmeal. It is very different than back bacon which is smoked and is basically the same as a smoked ham but made from the loin. Peameal bacon on the other hand is very moist and needs to be cooked prior to eating and is equally good cooked as a whole “roast” or sliced, fried and eaten like back bacon.
This is the recipe I am using but since I don’t have room in my fridge, I have the loins in a stock pot in my BBQ (to keep out the critters). It has averaged a little colder than the 34-38 degrees but hopefully that won’t affect the brining process too badly. We will find out in 23 days.
Trim the boneless pork loins and cut them into 12-14″ lengths and chill to 34 degrees in the center.
For 25 lbs. make a brine as follows:
2 lbs non iodized salt
1/2 lb. sugar
1/2 oz. saltpeter (potassium nitrate)
Dissolve in 3 pints of water
Place in a non reactive container large enough to contain the meat and 1 1/3 gallon of water – this includes the 3 pints above. The water should cover the meat by at least an inch.
The water must be no higher in temperature than 38 degrees F. Using 8 pounds of ice and 3 pints will produce the proper amount of water and temperature.
A sterile weight — a ceramic/porcelain plate weighted with a gallon jug of water will work — should be placed on top of the meat to hold it down. No part of the meat should be above the water.
Maintain the the temperature between 34 & 38 degrees for 3 weeks. On the 5th and 15th day, remove the loins and stir the brine real well. Return the loins oriented oppositely from their original position. After 3 weeks, remove, wash well under warm running water, then wipe dry. Store in a cool dry storage for 2-4 days. Then rub well with fresh yellow corn meal.
This can be eaten at once or stored at 34-40 degrees for weeks.