My local grocery was having a great sale on whole bagged pork loins, and as it happens, the wolverines I call my family, wiped out my Canadian Bacon cache over the Holidays. I have always done my Canadian Bacon similar to my Buck Board Bacon and Belly Bacon, Dry cured, but finished with an overnight apple cider or apple juice brine to plump up the finished product.
This time, I thought I would try things a bit differently and take you along for the ride, if you have any interest. I started out with Pop's "brine for any occasion" as starting point, but of course, I couldn't help myself and tarted it up a bit. I really like the apple juice finish as it adds both moisture, and a nice flavor profile. Since the Ph of Apple Juice is pretty high, my feeling was the acid level will make it safe for a longer brine cure, so here we go...
Here is my recipe:
2 quarts apple juice
2 quarts filtered water
1 Cup white sugar
1 Cup Brown Sugar
3/4 Cup Sea Salt
1 oz. Cure #1 (Pink Salt)
6 fresh Bay Laurel Leaves
1 1/2 Tablespoons whole Allspice
2 Tablespoons Whole black Peppercorns
8 # whole pork loin
Whisking the wet ingredients together.
I have the great fortune of being able to grow a Bay Laurel tree in my yard. I love using it's leaves, they are so ridiculously fragrant and delicate. here are some freshly picked and washed leaves, along with the Jamaican Allspice and Black peppercorns for the brine.
After mixing the wet ingredients, I reserved about a pint for injecting into the loins, which I had cut in half for ease of handling. I used a brine injector for the first time on this project, and was very taken with its performance. It was very interesting to watch the loins plump up before your eyes while the brine goes in. I will pose the question to the group now: since I have injected the loins with brine, can I reduce my curing time? the conventional wisdom is to hold cuts of this thickness for 12-14 days of curing. Can I cut that down since I injected the meat so thoroughly with brine?
My new brine injector found inside the Cabinet of Dr. Calgari. Barbaric, but effective. After injecting, I then placed the loins in the 9 quart plastic container I use for this kind of operation:
Before retiring these to the beer fridge, I placed two ice packs into a new 1 gallon ziplock bag and placed that over the meat to keep it submerged in the brine, then placed the cover on and into the reefer.
Heres the start of it. I will post in a couple of weeks with the rest of what I end up doing. I will probably cold smoke for a few hours since the weather is amenable, then hot smoke to bring up to a 140 IT prior to slicing.
If one of my more learned bretheren would fill me in on curing time question, I would be very grateful.
Thanks for looking.
Edited by SmokeyDokey - 1/22/13 at 9:42am