Yes, you read that correctly. I have ventured into the world of curing my own meat. I could blame my husband for getting the smoker attachment to our new grill this summer, but there's no need for blame.
Curing meats requires pink salt, which I ordered online from Amazon. Aside from that, it requires a bit of time and a smoker.
This Canadian bacon from Bake the Bread & Buy the Butter turned out wonderfully. It's slightly smokier than traditional store bought, and it packs so much more flavor. Next up, bacon, just as soon as I find me some pork belly.
1 gallon water
1 1/2 cups kosher salt
1 cup light brown sugar
1/2 cup pink salt
1 Tbsp. vanilla
4-lb. pork loin
Combine the first four ingredients together in a large pot, and bring to a boil. Remove from heat, and cool to room temperature. Stir in the vanilla, and chill overnight in the refrigerator.
The next day, place the pork in the cold brine. Weight it down, so it remains submerged. Let it chill out in the refrigerator two days. (See the time aspect?)
Remove the pork from the brine, rinse well and pat dry. Place on a rack in the refrigerator to air-dry for 24 hours
An hour before you plan to smoke the pork, take it out of the refrigerator to bring to room temperature. Following smoking instructions, smoke until the pork registers 150°F. You can fry the bacon immediately or keep in the refrigerator for one week. For longer preservation, wrap tightly and freeze. Makes about 3 3/4 lbs. of Canadian bacon.