Home-cured Canadian Bacon
Canadian bacon is a much leaner cured breakfast meat than regular bacon and is easy to make at home. An essential component of Eggs Benedict, it's also a very fine sandwich meat. This version of Canadian Bacon is slightly altered from the recipe by Michael Ruhlman & Brian Polcyn in Charcuterie.
1-4 lb. boneless pork loin, fat and sinew removedAdd everything except the loin to a pot and bring to a simmer. Let simmer a few minutes to ensure the salts are completely dissolved, then chill for at least 2 hours. Submerge the pork loin in the brine and refrigerate 48 hours.
1 gallon water
1½ cups kosher salt
1 cup sugar
1½ ounces (8 teaspoons) Instacure #1 ("pink" salt)
2 bunches fresh sage
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 spear fresh rosemary
3 cloves garlic, peeled and lightly crushed
Remove the loin from the brine (dispose of the brine), rinse it under cold water and pat dry. Rest it uncovered on a rack over a platter or sheet pan in the refrigerator 12-24 hours until the surface feels tacky.
Hot smoke the loin for 2-3 hours (or roast it in an oven at 200°F/95°C) until it reaches an internal temperature of 150°F/65°C. I used apple wood to smoke this one, but have been equally successful with the oven method.
Cool, then cover and refrigerate. Canadian bacon keeps 10 days refrigerated.