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This Week's Project:::: Now Bacon!

Discussion in 'Pork' started by twinfallsid, Aug 16, 2010.

  1. I started this week's smoker project today with $100.  Here is my smoker's next victim, Porkula:


    This fine Hampshire hog will donate 1/2 of herself to the smoker arts, and other culinary arts at my place.

    This evening, its back to the butcher to pick up the liver and heart, the rest will be coming home later this week.

    So now its time to study making liver pate, and getting all the ingredients together.  Q-views to follow on this thread.
  2. mballi3011

    mballi3011 Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member SMF Premier Member


    Now your pig looks good but I'm sure that she will taste better in a few days. It's hard for some folks toraise a pig and then take it to slaughter but not me. Give me the gun or knife.
  3. alaskansmokesignals

    alaskansmokesignals Fire Starter SMF Premier Member

    Is this thread where I sign up for your mailing list?

    Not talking about getting any stinkin' emails here.... no, no... PORK, its what's for dinner.  I hope!
  4. Hi Steve - I drove 1/2 hour back to the butcher, and my pig wasn't dead yet!   So no liver & heart today.  I have been looking at liver pate recipes, it seems shallots, cognac and truffle oil are the things that make pate excellent.

    Next stop, WalMart to get some pint and 1/2 pint canning jars.  I found a recipe that gives the timing for home canning liver pate, so it will be shelf-stable for years.  Next fishing trip to Kenai, I'll bring a jar or two.  You bring the crackers.
  5. I turned Porkula's head into head cheese today.  I'll have some photos after I turn it out of the pans tomorrow.  The butcher doesn't scald and scrape any pigs, so its not quite turning out like I expected.

    I did clean up an ear, boiled it for 1.5 hours, then sliced and deep fried it.  "Interesting" comes to mind.  Edible but not that great.

    I'll get the few remaining ingredients for the liver pate tomorrow and work on that project.  I cleaned up 24 pint canning jars, and I tested the pressure cooker, it works fine.  Also today, I wrote up the recipe I'll use.  Its a combination of other pate recipes I found on the 'net.  I can post it here, or maybe it would be better placed in the recipe section?
  6. Here is the finished head cheese.  I put a little balsamic vinegar to give a little twang.  It tastes great!  I cut the two loaves into 3 pieces each, vac-packed it and tossed most of it in the freezer.


    Last edited: Aug 18, 2010
  7. lucky13

    lucky13 Smoke Blower

    I'm not that adveturous TwinFalls, i think I'll stick with Butts, Chops, Bacon, and Ham! [​IMG]
  8. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    I am looking forward to the recipe for the pate and I have done the tacos de cabeza so I am interested on your journey - not really into the heart and liver program as much
  9. Here is the finished liver pate:



    The yield was 16 half-pints of pate from one 3-pound pork liver.  It tastes very good, but the texture is not what I expected.  Its kind of crumbly, instead of a smooth pate.  Adding a drop of mustard on top is also good.

    I killed a food processor with this recipe, it sounded like it stripped the gears.  To finish up the puree, I used an old reliable Oster stainless blender.  Later today I'll crack open the food processor and see if it can be fixed.

    Here is the liver pate recipe:

    Pork Liver Pate

                                                                                        |  For whole pork liver

    1 pound  of pork liver                                        |  3 lbs                       

    1/2 pound of chopped pork fat                     |  1.5 lbs

    1/4 pound of lean pork trimmings               |  ¾ lb                                               

                                                                                         |  = 5.25 lbs

                                                                    |   = 3x recipe

    For each 1-¾  pounds of the above add: 

    2 – shallots                                                             |  6

    2 – garlic cloves                                                   |  6

    1 – egg                                                                      |  3

    ½ - cup – heavy cream                                     |  1.5 cups

    1/3 - cup – cognac                                              |  1 cup

    1 tbs - truffle oil                                                    |  3 tbs

    dash – Tabasco                                                     |  3x

    1  tsp – salt                                                              |  1 tbs           }

    6 to 8 – peppercorns                                          |  21                }  in a clean

    3 or 4 – allspice berries                                     |  10               }  spice grinder

    1 - small cardamom seed                                  |  3                  }  powder all spices

    ½ tsp – Herbs de Provance                             |  ½  tbs        }

    Trim the tubes & ducts and the thin “skin” off the liver. 

    Chop the pork meat and fat into small pieces. 

    Cut the liver into 3/4 inch cubes.

    Puree the shallots, garlic, egg, cream, truffle oil, and Tabasco in a food processor or blender.

    Gradually add the pork liver, pork fat, pork trimmings, cognac,  and powdered spice mix.

    Puree until smooth.

    Spoon into sterile pint or half-pint canning jars, and press mixture with a non-metal spatula to remove air pockets.  Leave a least 3/4 inch of headspace at the top.  Clean the rims and  screw on the lids & rings until just fingertip tight.

    Put a rack in the bottom of the pressure cooker (PC) to keep the jars off the bottom.  Stack the jars neatly and add warm water  until the first layer of jars are almost covered.  Put on the lid of PC on and close tightly.

    Turn burner on to high heat.  The steam vent (small pipe on top of the PC lid) will start to show steam as the water heats up.

    Once the steam has a steady output, time it for 10 minutes before placing the weight on the vent.   This replaces the air in the PC with steam.  Do not skip this step.  Once the weight is on the steam vent, pressure will begin to build.  The pressure lock will pop up which indicates that the PC is full of pressure.

    Keep PC on high heat until the weight starts to rock or jiggle.  If the rocking becomes violent, turn down the heat until the weight continues with a gentle rock.  You'll be able to hear it rocking.

    If you have a PC with a gauge, build pressure to 15 PSI.  The weight on the steam valve will rock.  Turn down the heat to maintain the correct pressure.

    Once at 15 PSI, begin timing for 60 minutes.  When the time is up, turn off the heat, move it from the hot burner and let the PC depressurize naturally.  DO NOT TOUCH IT!!!

    Once the pressure lock has dropped and is flush against the PC, you can open the PC lid.  Do not try to cool the PC other than just naturally.

    The jars inside the PC are HOT.  You'll see that the liquid inside the jars is boiling.  The boiling will continue for a couple of hours.  Remove the jars and cool on a cookie rack over night.

    After the jars have cooled, remove the ring and wash each jar with hot soap and water.  Dry and label them with what's in the jars and the month/year.
    Last edited: Aug 19, 2010
  10. I printed up some nice labels for the jars, with the date:




    Last edited: Aug 19, 2010
  11. scarbelly

    scarbelly Epic Pitmaster OTBS Member

    I am wondering if you were to grind it first if that would help get the smoother texture as the food processer would not have as much work to do - Thanks for the recipe
  12. Scarbelly - Perhaps.  This was my 1st try at making pate.  There are so many variables, its hard to decide what could have been done better.  About half of the recipes I looked at had you pre-cook the liver, maybe that is the trick.  The finished pate is supposed to be about 50% fat.  My recipe is just about there.
  13. I think the butcher is cutting the hanging carcass tomorrow, Monday.  I want to get the bones and bacon-side before they are frozen.  I'll salt and pepper the bones and toss them in the smoker; and start curing the side and jowls that I saved from the head.

    The liver pate was easy to repair.  I put it in a small stainless bowl and added 20% softened butter and a dash of cream.  Then used a fork to mix it very well.  The result is a smooth liver pate that tastes great.

    When I opened the pressure cooker to remove the processed pate, there was a lot of fat floating on the water.  I think the lids let the fat bubble out during the 250F processing.  So adding 20% butter to the pate is just bringing the fat content back up to where it should be.
  14. lugnutz

    lugnutz Smoking Fanatic

    interesting post, not my kinda thing but very interesting none the less.  Keep us updated on the jowls and bacon,  smoked bones ??  very interesting
  15. I got sidetracked by a week's vacation in Seattle.  When I picked up the pork before leaving, it was all frozen pretty good, so I tossed it in the freezer and decided to continue the porky project after the vacation.

    So far, everyone who has tasted the liver pate has raved and insisted that I go into the pate biz, lol!

    Apparently Porkula was a MUTANT PIG!  I got a second head included with all the roasts and chops!  So sometime in the next week or so I'll thaw it out & slice off the jowls for bacon and then make another batch of head cheese.

    The fresh side for bacon is looking good under the frost, so I'll have 4 jowls and the side to cure for bacon, yum!  Plus some hocks to smoke.

    Today, I put one of Porkula's  half butt/shoulder on the grill, with indirect heat and mesquite chips.  After 3 hours it was pretty darn good.  Photos below:




























    Last edited: Sep 4, 2010
  16. lugnutz

    lugnutz Smoking Fanatic

    Looks dang good! 
  17. Yesterday, I used Bearcarver's curing recipe to start making Porkula's side and the 4 jowls into bacon.  There was 11.5 pounds, so I used 11.5 tablespoons of TenderQuick and 11.5 tablespoons of dark brown sugar.  I decided that black pepper should join the party, so I mixed in 1.5 tablespoons of fine-ground.

    I weighed each piece and added 2 tablespoons per pound of the curing mix and sealed the individual pieces in zipbags.  They are now resting in the bottom drawer of the 'fridge and will be turned every day for 10 days.  I'll take some photos when they are ready for the smoker.  This is my first go at makin' bacon.

    A couple days ago I boiled up the 2nd head and made another batch of headcheese.  I changed the spice mix to Cavender's All Purpose Greek Seasoning and added garlic salt, black pepper and thyme.  It turned out tasting far better than the 1st batch.
    Last edited: Sep 9, 2010
  18. chainsaw

    chainsaw Smoking Fanatic

    Thanks for all the details this was a great post!
  19. chefrob

    chefrob Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    great post..........i would have ground the liver 1st to save the processor. if it still works use the processor to mix 8oz cream chz, 2 green onions, cracked pepper and the cavenders seasoning. use a little 1/2 & 1/2 to allow blending......the finished product should be a thick spread. sere with the pate and fresh baguette.
  20. Bearcarver

    Bearcarver SMF Hall of Fame Pitmaster Group Lead OTBS Member

    That finished stuff all looks great !

    The only things I do differently on the Bacon is I put the TQ on by itself, then the brown sugar, but it'll be fine as long as you kept it mixed up evenly before you used it.

    The other thing is, I think I get more benefit from the pepper when I add it after curing with onion powder & garlic powder, before smoking. Not saying you did anything wrong. Only mentioning it because it was my recipe. I'll guarantee you're gonna love this!

    Poor Porkula,