Double Smoked Berbere Back Bacon

Discussion in 'Smoking Bacon' started by disco, Jun 5, 2016.

  1. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Ok for all my American friends. You call back bacon Canadian bacon Us Canadians know better and call it by its proper name, back bacon.

    I started experimenting with Berbere Spice a while ago and had this feeling that it would go well with the salty/sweet taste of back bacon. My brain is warped and just has to act on these ideas.

    Here is the spice. Remember, in cooking, looks is important too so I got a fancy container and home made label for my spice mix.


    I had a couple of small pork loin chunks in the freezer which were just perfect for experimenting with a new recipe.

    I tried one putting the Berbere spice in the cure and the other by sprinkling the Berbere spice on just before smoking.

    I mixed my cure mix. Here is my cure mix for 1 kilogram of pork:

    3 grams Prague Powder #1

    40 ml brown sugar

    15 ml kosher salt

    For the piece I added the  Berbere spice to the cure, I put 1 ml in the cure mix

    For my metrically challenged friends, this is the mix for 1 pound of pork:

    0.05 ounce of Prague Powder #1

    4 teaspoons brown sugar

    1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

    If you are adding the Berbere spice to the cure, add 1/8 teaspoon

    I weighed each piece and made up the cure mix for each one based on its weight.


    I put the pork loin on a plate and rubbed it with the cure mixture.


    Then I put the piece in a resealable bag and made sure any cure that didn't stick to the loin was scraped off the plate into the bag.


    I repeated the process for the second piece but I did not put Berbere spice in the cure mix.

    Both pieces went into the fridge. The thickest part was two inches thick. I cure for 4 days per inch plus 2 days for luck. For 10 days I left it in the fridge, turning and rubbing the cure in every day or so.

    After 10 days, I took the loins out of the fridge and soaked them in cold water for an hour, changing the water twice.

    I put the loins on a rack and dried them with paper towels.




    I let them dry for a couple of hours, occasionally patting it with a paper towel. When the pork was dry and tacky, I sprinkled 2 ml (1/2 teaspoon) of berbere spice on the piece that had not been cured with it. You'll note that She Who Must Be Obeyed made me upgrade my spice container.


    I fired up my Amazen Tube Smoker with hickory. I have used the pellet smoker for years but I find the tube smoker just takes less futzing. I put the pork and the smoker in my pellet smoker.


    I cold smoked for 4 hours and took the bacon in and refrigerated it overnight.


    The next day, I preheated my pellet green to 180 F. I smoked the bacon to an internal temperature of 140 F, about 3 hours.



    I put it in the fridge overnight and then sliced it up.

    Here is the one that was cured with the Berbere Spice.


    Here is the one I dusted with Berbere before smoking.


    I fried a couple of slices of each.


    The Verdict

    Wow! This is the best back bacon I have made by a long stretch. The Berbere spice gives just a warmth as opposed to heat. Even She Who Must Be Obeyed didn't find it too spicy. That being said, there is a complexity of taste that goes incredibly well with the nice smokiness and sweetness of back bacon. 

    As for putting the spice in the cure versus putting it on before smoking, I preferred the spice in the cure. It gave a nice even heat that was just there. The bacon it was sprinkled on was terrific but had a harsher heat that comes on after a second. It still isn't overly hot but it does bite a bit more.

    This will be made very often.

    Disco
     
  2. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Great job Disco.

    Now I gotta see if I can find that spice.
     
  3. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, Adam. I couldn't get it here in the mountains. I had to mix my own.

    Disco
     
  4. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    ​Did you post the mix?
     
  5. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  6. waterinholebrew

    waterinholebrew Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Looks like a must try smoke Disco, nice thread ! Thumbs Up
     
  7. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, Brew.
     
  8. c farmer

    c farmer Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

  9. worktogthr

    worktogthr Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Damn Disco, that looks beautiful! The color is magnificent! Points for sure!
     
  10. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks! I need to make more already!
     
  11. smokinal

    smokinal Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator OTBS Member ★ Lifetime Premier ★

    Great looking bacon Disco, but that's only about enough for 1 meal.

    I think you better get busy & make some more!

    [​IMG]   Al
     
  12. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks, Al. As I was tasting it, I looked wistfully at the small amount I smoked so I guess you are right!
     
  13. bdskelly

    bdskelly Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    What an awesome job Disco. Old Fat Guys Rock!!  point B
     
  14. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Thanks for the point, Brian. Actually it is a bit more like jiggle than rock!
     
  15. redheelerdog

    redheelerdog Master of the Pit SMF Premier Member

    Rock the house Amazing Disco!

    I'm going to have to try the Berbere spice.

    Thanks

     
  16. disco

    disco Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Very kind of you, Red.
     

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