Friday, August 17, 2012

Señor Party in My Mouth a.k.a. Honey Cured Bacon Crusted with Chile and Pepper

Here's part two to one of my other experiments, Honey-Cured Chile and Pepper Crusted Bacon, the start of which can be seen over at this post: Trying Something New Today.  The short story is that I had some friends who wanted a whole mess'a bacon and I had an extra belly just begging to be made into something special.  I started by honey curing a belly using Rytek Kutas' seminal book on charcuterie, Great Sausage Recipes and Meat Curing which can be purchased for less than $20 from  Rytek's recipe calls for a basic cure but swaps out the standard sugar for 2 cups of honey so that's exactly what I did.

I let the belly cure for 6 days and every day I flipped and re-distrubuted the honey-cure.  After the sixth day I rinsed the honey-cure from the belly and commanded thy belly rest.  Then using a process similar to pastrami  I spice crusted the belly.  For those unfamiliar with the process once a meat is cured in this way and allowed to dry a slightly sticky film forms all over the belly called a pellicle.  The sticky film is what the smoke sticks to and in the case of Señor Party in My Mouth I liberally sprinkled crushed chile flakes all over the meaty side of the belly to take advantage of the pellicle.  I then pressed onto that about 40 grams of black peppercorns that I had toasted and crushed to a medium-fine grind.

Here's what the belly looked like after the addition of the chile flake

Next is the belly after the crushed black pepper is pressed in and about to find it's way into the smoker.  Along with a couple basic cured bellies I'm smoking this deliciousnicity over hickory and applewood pellets using my A-MAZE-IN smoker.


11 hrs in the smoker and a couple days resting in the fridge and voila! 

I've got to tell you that this is one of the most awesome things that I've ever stuffed in my face-hole.  First you get the sweet from the honey, then the chile goes to work on your tongue with a sharp heat before the black pepper takes over with a little warmth and tickle in the back of your throat.  It was so delicious I'm going to be starting another belly in the next few days.  


Nicole T said...

Wow. WOW. This looks incredible and I bet it tastes even better! What kind of chile is that? Did you toast that too?

Jered said...

Thanks Nicole, I appreciate the kind words. I thought about toasting the chile or using a smoked chile like a chipotle but decided I didn't want to overpower the belly with smoke from too many sources. I am going to be looking at alternate chile options moving forward as well as hops (the flavoring a bittering ingredient of beer) or maybe a kimche bacon.

Nicole T said...

OMG kimchi bacon sounds awesome!

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