Saturday, November 9, 2013
Though this is not for Abby(no pork) it was a good way to learn how to make some chicken marinated and smoked to make "pretend" ham for her over the holidays. For the rest of us? A terrific treat! And one free of chemicals, colors and whatever else they inject into store bought canadian bacon.
In place of ham, on pizza, on a homemade egg McMuffin... diced into soups,scrambled eggs.. There are a lot of variables to the brine you use, we wanted something that had a strong maple finish- and this did! You just need to remember to use grade B maple, a much stronger intense maple flavor.
3/4 gallon water, divided
1 cup pink himalayan salt
1 cup Grade B(very important,stronger flavor) maple syrup
3/4 cup dark brown sugar
4 bay leaves
2 medium cloves garlic, smashed
1 tablespoon black peppercorns
boneless pork loin, trimmed of excess fat (mine was about 5 pds I cut into two sections)
To make the cure, combine half of the water, pink himalayan salt, maple syrup, dark brown sugar bay leaves, garlic, and peppercorns in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over high heat, stirring to dissolve salts and sugar. Boil for 1 minute, then remove from heat. Transfer to a large container and stir in remaining water. Place in refrigerator until chilled. Submerge pork loin in cure and let sit in refrigerator for 3 to 5 days.(each day I flipped the loin to make sure it was equally bathed in the brine)
Remove pork from cure and pat dry.
I smoked for 4 to 5 hours. I used 1/4 mesquite to 3/4 cherry chips.
Place in oven(I covered tightly) on 300 until meat thermometer reads at least 150. Chill completely and slice.
I vacuumed sealed packets of the slices to freeze since this is way more then we can eat immediately.