DIY Pea Meal Bacon Disaster!

Newly Pea Mealed Bacon

After 25 days of carefully watching over my brining pork loins, turning them every week and making sure the temperature was perfect, we pulled them out of the brine, dried them and rolled them in corn meal. They looked great! But of course the big test is how it tastes. This morning I cut a slice for each of our breakfasts, pan fried them and served them with eggs and toast. The verdict….inedible!

Ready for the Fry Pan

Somehow I screwed up the recipe is my guess. They were unbelievably salty. So salty that even a Swede wouldn’t eat them. So it is back to the drawing board. The recipe that I posted earlier in the month needs to be re-evaluated based on my results. At least I didn’t poison anyone.

If there is anyone out there who is making their own pea meal bacon perhaps they could give me some advice?

Oh well, back to the store to pick up more pork loin and my new shipment of pink salt came in so I am ready for another attempt once I recalculate. Just wish it didn’t take a month to see the results.


Peameal Bacon

Only 3 Weeks To Go!

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.

Charcutepalooza – The Year of Meat

In previous posts I have mentioned my goal to make real pickle-brined pea meal bacon. This charcuterie itch obviously is spreading quickly because not a week later I received a birthday gift that included the book Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking and Curing by Michael Ruhlman as well as all of the ingredients for making duck prosciutto from my sister and brother-in-law. They also gave themselves the same gift.

My new bible


In the card there was a link to two food blogs, Mrs. Wheelbarrow and The Yummy Mummy, which have jointly created Charcutepalooza – The Year of Meat. (Twitter hashtag #charcutepalooza) The object being to learn, in a community, the art of charcuterie by undertaking one charcuterie challenge a month for the entire year. The first challenge is duck prosciutto, of course! 

The duck breasts are now thawing and we will keep you posted as we progress.