Thursday, February 08, 2007

My Fetish with Peameal Bacon

Peameal bacon is North America's best kept culinary secret. A staple in Ontario, it is unknown in most of the United States. Peameal is great stuff any way it is cooked. Sliced thin and fried, cut in chops and grilled, or cooked as a roast - the meat is juicy and tender by any method.

I was introduced to peameal bacon while traveling to Canada on business. On one trip to Ontario, I purchased a fully cooked peameal bacon roast from a butcher. It was the best "Canadian Style Bacon" I had ever eaten. A lesson on peameal bacon basics is provided at the BBQ Talk Canada forum.

I didn't have a chance to get to a butcher on my next trip, so I purchased a package of uncooked cured boneless pork loin for a grocery store. I didn't even get a blink when I carried my 1.5 kilo piece through Customs. It is a fraction of the cost of the mail order stuff sold in the U.S.

When I got home, I tried it sliced thin and fried right away and it was great. I also smoked a piece of it over apple & hickory, which was excellent.

I was next encouraged at the Canadian barbecue site to make my own Canadian bacon. There is a detailed recipe for Dizzy Pig Cow Lick Canadian Bacon online. I followed the recipe, except for my addition of a cornmeal coating to make my own peameal bacon.

My homemade version was very good pan fried. But, I'll be sure to soak it longer after brining next time to remove more of the salt.

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