The first time I'd ever heard of "Canadian bacon" was after I had moved to the U.S. in 1997. I'm a Canadian. At home, we refer to it as "back bacon". Only recently I've learned that's because it comes from the back of the pig (as opposed to regular bacon, that comes from the belly of the pig). Canadians serve back bacon on pizza and with eggs for breakfast. Americans use it for Eggs Benedict (which will be making an appearance here soon, I hope).
So as we near the end of our first winter in Massachusetts, it makes some kind of sense to make food that is commonly associated with the land of Winter. I modified the recipe in Ruhlman's Charcuterie:
4 liters waterMix all the ingredients (save the pork loin), and bring to a boil. Stir until the salts are all dissolved, then remove from the heat. Cool to room temperature, then chill in the fridge.
1 ½ cups kosher salt
1 cup sugar
1 ½ oz pink salt ← the curing salt containing sodium nitrite, not pink-colored salt
1 tbsp dried sage
1 bunch fresh thyme
6 garlic cloves, peeled and mashed
one 4-lb pork loin
When the brine is chilled, place the pork loin in it.
I warn you, brining pork looks gnarly. Really, not pretty.
Keep in the fridge for 48 to 72 hours. Then remove from the fridge, rinse the pork, and pat dry. Place back in the fridge for 12 hours to dry out a wee tad.
Fire up your smoker. I like mesquite for bacon, so that's what I used for back bacon.
About two to three hours at 225°F, until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 150°F. Cool.
Slice thinly. I served it first on a nice bbq pizza (Hawaiian).
Salty and bright. Meaty, with a hint of smoke and thyme. This back bacon is awesome. It'll be figuring in a few other dishes over the next few posts. I wish I'd made this one ages ago.
By Bbq Dude