STOP !!! WALK AWAY !!!!!

We have a really nice cafeteria at the building where I work and one of my favorite items to get is a “Big BLT.”  There is a regular lady that runs the kitchen named “Edith” that does a great job of making my sammich.  You can customize the sammich with your choice of bread and I always choose a french roll, that really turns it up to “11.”   They don’t skimp on the bacon and I usually joke that it is a bacon sammich with a little salad on top.

There are times in life you you are doing something normal, not special or unusual in which something in your head says “STOP !!!!!!   WALK AWAY !!!!”.  I’m not talking about the “Hold my beer and watch this” or someone says “I bet you can’t….”     Just something normal.

So, “Edith” was back in the kitchen working and there was a newcomer at the counter.

“I would like a BLT on a french roll.”

“What is a “french roll?” (in an almost undecipherable foreign accent)

“STOP” 

She picks up a piece of ciabatta and looks at me and I pointed to where the french rolls were.

“Do you want mayo on the inside?”

“WALK AWAY !!!!”

Sigh, I didn’t heed the warning.

Below is the BLT that she made.

Walk away

It was a fine bacon sammich, but certainly not a BLT !!!

Sometimes you do have to listen to the voices in your head !!

Making Bacon Part III

This will be the third time that I have attempted to make Homemade Bacon.

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The first two times were less than impressive.

 

I have decided to try one more time.

 

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Pretty simple for the seasoning:

Coarse Salt

Fresh Ground Pepper

Brown Sugar

Thyme and Rosemary are optional so I left them out.

 

 

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About a 3 1/2 pound slab of pork belly with the skin on.

 

 

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All the parts are ready to go.

I cut off about a quarter of the pork belly and plan on cooking that separately.

 

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Seasoning rubbed on and into the zip-style bag

This stayed in the fridge for a week, and once a day it gets turned over.

Now, this may be just another boring bacon disaster post after having tried twice before to make my on bacon.

BUT !!!

This time I have a secret weapon……………………………….

Meet Mr. Smokey !!!!!

 

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For my fifteen years of service at work, I was given this smoker.

I’ve been cooking with gas for about 20 years (and I love it), but I started out way back when grilling with charcoal.  I also had never used a chimney starter.  Back in the day, it was just gasoline poured on to start the charcoal.  The chimney starter works well to get the coals going.

 

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Lit charcoal ready to go………………………..

 

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Back to the pork belly.

Rinsed off in the sink and patted dry.

 

 

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I cut the skin off.

OOPS !!!!!

I shouldn’t have done that until after cooking.

Oh well.  Not likely to be my only mistake of the day !!

 

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This is about after 4 hours on the smoker.

The pork belly looked a little lonely so I put a small piece of beef ribs on to keep it company.

The beef ribs were fantastic !!

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OK, once again it at least looks like bacon at this point.

It stayed in the fridge overnight.

 

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Slicing it up, it looks even more like bacon. (We know looks can be deceiving and disappointing)

The sliced bacon looks and feels different from the two other attempts.

 

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Well, here goes everything !!!

Time to fry it up.

 

Well, my daughter said it was the best bacon ever !!

Woo, high praise indeed.

The wife said it rivaled the specialty bacon that a local person sells at the farmer’s market. (I’ve never had that so I can’t make a comparison)

I thought it was very good. It definitely wasn’t what I expected (not very salty like modern processed bacon.)  It was definitely good.

 

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Well, the good news is that I know exactly how much bacon my cast iron will hold.  The bad news is that my bacon hoard is exactly that much less !!

 

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Putting the homemade bacon to good use !!

Some overall notes:

It’s nice being able to slice the bacon thick.  My slices are about 1  1/2 X thicker than the thick cut bacon you buy in the store.

This bacon doesn’t shrink very much.

This bacon is not easy to overcook and burn like processed bacon.  It cooks up to the almost perfect mix of not crispy/crispy but not burnt.

This is the third time that I have used my smoker and I really like it.  It’s not a “set it and forget it” device.  I need to maintain the heat by putting more charcoal on.

This smoker is kind of a poor design. To me, one of the biggest problems is that when the coals burn down, there is no where for the ash to go and that hinders getting new coals going.  (I can fix that I think !!)

I hate smelling like I sat around a campfire all day when I use the smoker.

I’ve probably inhaled more carbon monoxide than a small Chinese village.

Bonus Feature:

I cooked up the other piece of the pork belly and it was great !!

 

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