Cottage Bacon

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MrTom

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I've been making my own bacon for quite a while using pork bellies, but recently found a recipe I used years ago to make cottage bacon, bacon made from a pork shoulder. It's basically done the same as regular bacon using a dry brine, but the process requires constant refrigeration during the curing process and when I made it before was simply too time consuming at the time.... kids, work, yada, yada. My first attempts at cottage bacon were, though, pretty good final products and my recipes have changed so I thought maybe now would be a good time to look into doing it again.

For my slab bacon I have been using a blended seasoning recipe that calls for brown sugar, Morton's Tender quick and about half a batch of one of Walton's bacon seasonings and pink cure. This makes a great bacon when cool smoked using apple and cherry. I'm going to pick up a pork butt and bone it to make curing easier and a bit quicker. My goal is to leave the meat in larger pieces as I did years ago but use today's seasoning/cure mix. I have access to a commercial slicer so that will help finishing the bacon. When I jump on this adventure, I'll post pictures showing the process and finished product. I am going to wait until the butts go on sale though.

I know demographically that cottage bacon is a regional thing and maybe not a lot of people have heard of it. Are there many here that have eaten or tried it? Maybe grown up with it? I first tried making it on a lark but loved the stuff.
 

a cloud of smoke

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have you ever made bacon from beef brisket? a friend does and im going to try when I get the meat back from a beefer im having butchered...
 

MrTom

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Never have done or eaten any red meat bacon but I hear its pretty darned good.
 

MrTom

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I order this rub from Waltons..... Dry Rub Bacon Cure The 5 pound offer.

I re-package the dry cure into 5- 1 pound quart vacuum bags and seal them up, using part of one for the bacon one. I use one cup of the dry rub and then seal that quart bag close to the end of the bag. When I make bacon again I snip that sealed portion off very close to the end of the bag so I can re-seal.

I mix 1/2 cup of good quality dark brown sugar and 1/2 cup of Mortons Tender Quick into the 1 cup of dry cure. I rub the meat peices well with the cure and place them in a gallon sized zip lock and set in the fridge. Each day I take the pieces from the bag and rub more of the cure mix into them and place them back in the zip lock and in fridge. I do this until the bowl of cure is used up, usually by day three. The meat in the zip lock will make juice. When the dry cure is gone I simply give the bag a shake or two to shift the meat around a couple times a day until five days have lapsed. On day six the meat gets wiped off with a clean cloth and into the smoker.

I use charcoal to smoke using chunk wood. Bacon gets cherry and apple. I make wood packets that are wrapped in three layers of heavy foil, shiny side in towards the wood and each layer of foil is wrapped separately. The charcoal is started, and two wood packets are set on the coals when the flames die. This will yield a cool smoke, which I prefer. The bacon gets three rounds of the smoke as described. The smoker is allowed to cool naturally when the smoke stops and the bacon is then wrapped in clean cheesecloth and set in the fridge for a couple days for the smoke to mellow.

I vacuum seal the bacon in whole pieces and freeze. When I want or need bacon, I thaw a package slightly so it's still quite firm and slice it. I prefer my bacon cut to 1/8" thick. A single slice of the Cottage Bacon can cover a hamburger bun if one wants a bacon cheeseburger.

Done with this recipe the finished product is not as salty tasting as many of the commercial products. I'll admit that when it comes to bacon I am about as much pig as the bacon is. I love bacon and the lean/fat ratio of a pork shoulder lends itself to some mighty fine chewing that has just a slightly lesser fat content than belly bacon.
 

a cloud of smoke

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that sounds great, what temp do you keep the smoker at? I have several electric smokers and for cool smoke I have a separate smoke maker that feeds the smoke in through where the wood chip filler is, on the side of the smoker, so I can smoke from almost dead cold up to whatever temp, I have smoked cheeses without them melting..
I try for low salt and no nitrate, with freezing im thinking you dont need the nitrates for preservation..ive looked into making the rub from scratch..
 

a cloud of smoke

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when I make my jerky, I dont use any nitrate, the salt and sugar act like preservatives, but also the low moisture keeps bacteria from growing, and I keep it in the fridge till eaten...ill have to research about no nitrate for bacon..
 

Apparition

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I tried making bacon without nitrate once. It was more salt pork. I may have done something wrong but it seems the nitrate cure is what makes the red color in the meat and the bacon flavor.

This may have inspired me to make my own bacon again. If you search "Hank Shaw Bacon", he has recipes and said if you make it from deer you will love it.
 

crazyboutduck

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When I cold smoke the hams and bacon I’ve cured out, I use an A-maze-n smoker. Uses pellets. A full charge will last approximately 4 hours. Can get them at Lowe’s or Amazon for around $25.00. It’s a great product.
 

toytruck

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Never heard of cottage bacon. The wife says it sounds like cottage cheese. She is not a fan, but I am!
 
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I've been making my own bacon for quite a while using pork bellies, but recently found a recipe I used years ago to make cottage bacon, bacon made from a pork shoulder. It's basically done the same as regular bacon using a dry brine, but the process requires constant refrigeration during the curing process and when I made it before was simply too time consuming at the time.... kids, work, yada, yada. My first attempts at cottage bacon were, though, pretty good final products and my recipes have changed so I thought maybe now would be a good time to look into doing it again.

For my slab bacon I have been using a blended seasoning recipe that calls for brown sugar, Morton's Tender quick and about half a batch of one of Walton's bacon seasonings and pink cure. This makes a great bacon when cool smoked using apple and cherry. I'm going to pick up a pork butt and bone it to make curing easier and a bit quicker. My goal is to leave the meat in larger pieces as I did years ago but use today's seasoning/cure mix. I have access to a commercial slicer so that will help finishing the bacon. When I jump on this adventure, I'll post pictures showing the process and finished product. I am going to wait until the butts go on sale though.

I know demographically that cottage bacon is a regional thing and maybe not a lot of people have heard of it. Are there many here that have eaten or tried it? Maybe grown up with it? I first tried making it on a lark but loved the stuff.
This is quite popular in Montana close to Canada. I think it might be of Canadian origin. Our local butcher shop makes it, and it is as good or better than regular bacon.
Squint
 

crazyboutduck

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I tried making bacon without nitrate once. It was more salt pork. I may have done something wrong but it seems the nitrate cure is what makes the red color in the meat and the bacon flavor.

This may have inspired me to make my own bacon again. If you search "Hank Shaw Bacon", he has recipes and said if you make it from deer you will love it.
Insta cure#1 does give it the pink color. I would recommend that when you pull it out of the brine to first rinse off the brine mix, particularly if dry brined. Slice off a small test piece and fry it up. If too salty, then soak it in cold clear water for an hour. Test it again. If still too salty, soak it for another hour. When I wet brine hams, I soak em in clear water for 24 hrs. Sounds counterintuitive but it works. Don’t give up. I enjoy the whole process and learn something new each time. Sometimes things come out tasting like a turd, but once the process is dialed in you can’t beat it. So much better than anything you can buy in the store. Look up recipes from Steven Raichlen for dry cure bacon. It’s a great recipe and uses a lot less salt than many other recipes out there. Good luck!
 

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Apparition

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Thanks for the encouragement! My son loves to run a smoker...maybe we can collaborate.

After thinking about it, Hank Shaw was talking about deer corned beef not bacon. He said it is great. I heard him on a Fresh Tracks and maybe a Meateater. Like you guys he was teaching people to cook and not just giving recipes.
 

Buttonbuck

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I process pork shoulders by taking the fat cap off with some meat about 5050 meat to fat square them off then cure and smoke. The pork butts I trim up for smoking, the loose ends and trim go for fresh sausage or to mix with venison for whatever meat project we are making. Shoulders are on sale for .99cents currently. Trimmed for bacon we got 3.5 lb to cure and smoke. Spent roughly on the 2 butts for what I’d spend on 3.5 lb of real pork bellies. The trimming is the critical part. Most of the store bought meat looks like they cut it off the critter with a chainsaw.
 
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