Wednesday, January 14, 2009
Bacon Fest '09
On February 21, 2009 a festival to end all festivals will be held in Los Angeles. If all goes well, it will become an annual occurrence. I am talking about Bacon Fest '09.
Now, don't book your tickets to L.A. just yet. For one, Bacon Fest is very exclusive (and you can't get in). For another, Bacon Fest is less like a festival and more like a dinner I'm preparing for a few friends. (But seriously, what looks better on a t-shirt: "Dinner at my house" or "BACON FEST '09?")
It all started with a harmless email sent from a fellow bacon lover to a small group of other bacon lovers. The email was sent to praise the ingeniousness of a new invention called Baconaise. A bacon flavored mayo that this dear blogger has yet to try.
Who would've ever guessed that this simple email would have started an exchange of fried pork anecdotes that would last for months? While light and airy at first, the emailers (heretofore known as the Bacon 5, or B5 for short) began to take on a demanding tone. You see, it was just too much to talk about the tasty meat day in and day out; the B5 wanted to be fed bacon. And lots of it. That is when the B5 demanded yours truly prepare a bacon tasting menu.
I have been working on this menu for the last several weeks and have discovered gazillions of bacon recipes. I have found battered deep-fried bacon, bacon bowls, bacon wrapped pork, pig candy, bacon cupcakes, sausage rolled into a bacon like burrito and many more. All of them appear exquisite, but alas I can only make so many. That is where I need your help, dear bloggies. I need help whittling down my choices. Do you have a favorite bacon recipe? You wanna share it? Leave a comment and tell me more! I'll even exchange ideas with you. If you give me enough good ideas then you, yes you, will receive a hard to come by invite to Bacon Fest '09! After the fest, all recipes will be posted here (and yes, with credit given where credit is due).
Until then, I will leave you with a recipe for making your very own bacon.
2.5 lb of pork belly, with skin on
2.5 tbl kosher salt (oh, the irony)
1.5 tbl sugar
1 tbl black peppercorns
2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp chili powder
2 cloves garlic
(Quite frankly, along with the salt you can use about anything you want for the rub).
Rinse pork and dry thoroughly with paper towels. Grind spices and garlic and rub all over both sides of meat. Seal meat in a 1 gallon size resealable plastic bag and place in refrigerator for 7 days. Flip the mat over every other day. After 7 days, remove the meat from the bag and wash thoroughly in cold water. Pat dry with paper towels. Heat oven to 200 degrees. Place meat on a sheet tray and cook until the center of the meat reads 150 degrees on a thermometer, about 2 hours. Transfer bacon to a work surface and slice off the skin and allow to cool to room temperature. Pat dry, wrap bacon in wax paper and refrigerate until chilled through. The bacon is now ready to be sliced and fried. Bacon will hold for about 10 days in the fridge and 3 months in the freezer.