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Anyone practice charcuterie?

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Waite

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Got into sausage making a few years ago. Hunter's snack sticks, breakfast, andouille, kielbasa, bratwurst. Everything but the breakfast is smoked. They get vacuum sealed and frozen, then when we want them on the grill it's a matter of thaw and brown since they're already cooked. The brats and some of the kielbasa get linked for buns, and the rest is left in longer rings for dinners and whatnot. After the first batch of breakfast links I learned we use patties a lot more, so they don't get stuffed anymore.

I'd like to try some bacon this year, never done it before. It sounds easy, you just need the dedication during the curing process. Also want to make some hot Italian. Suggested recipes for both (or any of the others) are welcome!
 
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Waite

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That's a ton of jerky! I only do jerky when I have venison. Too much loss for purchased meat to make it cost effective. I get more mileage from sausage.

Do you use back or pork belly for your bacon? Get it from a local supplier or a big box? I mean, other than that pork butt and Canadian.
 

w_r_ranch

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The buckboard bacon is made from pork shoulders (Boston Butts) that I de-bone prior to curing (I'm not a big fan of bellies as I prefer more meat). The Canadian bacon is made from whole pork loin. I get them both from either the local packing house or the grocery store... whoever gives me the best price.
 
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Waite

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I understand where those cuts come from. Pork butt/Boston butt/Pork shoulder are the same thing. Up here we call it pork butt. I was wondering if you ever make traditional bacon but it sounds like not. Much like you, I have preferences. I don't care much for Canadian bacon, too close to ham. I would guess that your recipe gets it closer to a bacon flavor though.

Pork belly is pretty cheap, and if you're careful you can find them with a little more lean. Still, it's a fatty cut. I've smoked belly before with good results. If I'm smoking ribs, I smoke spareribs in full cut with the belly meat still on, it's the best part!
 

whistech

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I make quite a bit of sausage, mostly breakfast and Smoked Polish along with some Italian. I have made bacon and the process is pretty simple. I dry cure the bacon using 2% salt, 1% sugar and 1.13 grams of Cure 1 for each pound of meat. Weigh out each piece of meat and mix correct amount of salt, sugar and Cure 1 for each piece of meat mixing thoroughly. Sprinkle the mixed cure evenly over both sides and ends of meat and rub into the meat. I place mine in a vac bag and seal, but you can place in a zip lock bag if you don't have a vac sealer. Place in the fridge and turn the bag every couple of days until cured. Depending on how thick the belly is, it should take between 5 and 12 days to cure. It is said that the curing takes place at a rate of 1/2 inch per day of thickness. I cure my belly for around 21 days. A longer cure time, in my opinion, gives a richer, better tasting product. After curing, I rinse the belly under cold water, blot it dry, place on racks and put back in the fridge uncovered for 2 or 3 to dry the outside of the belly.

After curing and drying I smoke the belly using as low of a temperature as I can obtain (usually between 70 and 100 degrees). I smoke the belly for 6 to 8 hours, using a light smoke with hickory wood. I remove from the smoker and place back in the fridge until the next day. I repeat this process until I get a good, deep golden color on the belly. It usually takes 3 smoking sessions to achieve the color I am looking for.

After smoking, I let the belly rest in the fridge for 4 to 5 days to allow the smoke flavor to equalize. Slice and enjoy. After making your own, it's hard to go back to store bought bacon.

Bacon Front.JPG Bacon Sliced 2.JPG
 
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Waite

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Man, you guys are killing me!

If you want, I have a recipe for the best kielbasa I've ever had. I bought an old cast iron Enterprise stuffer from a lady on craigslist. She had grown up in the Delray District of Detroit, which is to Hungarians what Chinatown is to Asians. The stuffer had come from the attic of her grandmother's next door neighbor. She and her sister were going to make sausage but her sister died of cancer and she lost all interest. She was asking a reasonable amount and and even though I had to use kerosene to get all the old crud off, once once I put it it back together and oiled it, it works like brand new. While I was there she handed me a piece of paper with a Hungarian kielbasa recipe right from the old country. I never even knew kielbasa was a Hungarian thing, I thought it was strictly polish. It has very few ingredients but the flavor is outstanding.
 

RLwhaler

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I make quite a bit of sausage, mostly breakfast and Smoked Polish along with some Italian. I have made bacon and the process is pretty simple. I dry cure the bacon using 2% salt, 1% sugar and 1.13 grams of Cure 1 for each pound of meat. Weigh out each piece of meat and mix correct amount of salt, sugar and Cure 1 for each piece of meat mixing thoroughly. Sprinkle the mixed cure evenly over both sides and ends of meat and rub into the meat. I place mine in a vac bag and seal, but you can place in a zip lock bag if you don't have a vac sealer. Place in the fridge and turn the bag every couple of days until cured. Depending on how thick the belly is, it should take between 5 and 12 days to cure. It is said that the curing takes place at a rate of 1/2 inch per day of thickness. I cure my belly for around 21 days. A longer cure time, in my opinion, gives a richer, better tasting product. After curing, I rinse the belly under cold water, blot it dry, place on racks and put back in the fridge uncovered for 2 or 3 to dry the outside of the belly.

After curing and drying I smoke the belly using as low of a temperature as I can obtain (usually between 70 and 100 degrees). I smoke the belly for 6 to 8 hours, using a light smoke with hickory wood. I remove from the smoker and place back in the fridge until the next day. I repeat this process until I get a good, deep golden color on the belly. It usually takes 3 smoking sessions to achieve the color I am looking for.

After smoking, I let the belly rest in the fridge for 4 to 5 days to allow the smoke flavor to equalize. Slice and enjoy. After making your own, it's hard to go back to store bought bacon.

View attachment 2920 View attachment 2921
LAWD have mercy !!
 
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