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Cajun-spiced Bacon

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Now that I’m on the homemade bacon train, I’m all in—it’s been well over a year since I last purchased bacon from the grocery. Smoking up a steady stream of bacon has afforded me the ability to experiment with seasonings a lot over a short period of time and I mostly treaded familiar ground at first with things like peppered bacon, maple bacon, and spiced bacon. That has now left me starting to venture into the more experimental spaces like pastrami bacon and this Cajun spiced bacon. To be honest, I’ve seen Cajun bacon before and that’s why it popped up as a recipe to try, but I don’t think it’s something I would choose over other bacons when shopping, so I went into this recipe not quite sure how much I’d be into it on the other end.

Developing the recipe itself was pretty easy for me since I’ve done many Cajun and blackened recipes over the years that use this common earthy and herbal spice mixture that has a light touch of heat to it. Paprika serves as the foundational red base while garlic and onion powders give the seasoning a lot of its sharpness. Cumin is what enhances that earthy quality and it’s a mixture of thyme and oregano that bring in the herbal components. To transform this into a cure for bacon, I merely had to add kosher and curing salts into the mix and I was done.

I utilized around a three pound piece of skinless pork belly for this bacon, which was half of what I bought that day—I’ve been smoking up one regular bacon and one experimental one in each of my cooking sessions. I coated the belly liberally with the cure, then transferred it to a Ziploc bag and set in the fridge for a week. Every morning and night I flipped that bag over to help the bacon cure evenly throughout.

At the end of those seven days, the pork was pretty firm, a good indicator that the cure worked as expected. I had been running my bacons under water before smoking to remove excess salt, but I didn’t want to remove any of the seasoning for this bacon, so skipped that step. A few of my past bacons were not quite salty enough, so I wondered if skipping the washing might solve that problem, or possibly end with a bacon that was too salty. It was going to still be some time until I got an answer to that question though as I moved onto the next step of transforming this pork belly into bacon by putting it into the smoker running at 255°F with a couple chunks of pecan wood tossed on the coals.

When the pork hit around 150°F in the center, I removed it from the smoker and let it cool off at room temperature for a bit before wrapping it in plastic wrap and sticking it in the fridge to chill completely. The final bacon had a solid earthy red hue to it all over, which gave me hope that the seasoning would be substantial and really give the final strips that boost of Cajun flavor I was hoping for.

Once the meat was throughly chilled, I cut it into strips utilizing my meat slicer. I went a little thicker than I had been for other bacons mainly as a change of pace, but also thought you’d really want all the boldness you could get out of this bacon, so heftier strips would best deliver that.

Once I was done slicing, I portioned the bacon out into vacuum sealed bags and then placed those in the freezer to wait until I was ready to use them. I know I can always re-portion and freeze store bought bacon, but I never do, and making these single serving bags has been one thing I’ve really loved about going homemade—I always have the right amount of bacon for just me and wife.

From here, you can choose to cook the strips in your favorite manner, which for me is grilling. I decided the first use of the Cajun bacon would be in blackened chicken tacos, which I was cooking on the grill already, so it made sense to use the existing fire and get the added advantages of not making a mess in the kitchen or smelling up the house like bacon for days (although I personally don’t mind that second part much).

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On the grill, I placed the bacon over indirect heat and then covered. I let the strips cook, turning and flipping them occasionally, until the fat rendered and crisped up the meat nicely. For this use in tacos, I wanted an extra crispy texture to contrast against the chicken, so I let this batch cook until they were very well browned.

At this point in time, it was weeks from when I actually started the process of making this bacon, so expectations may have grown even more with the added wait and it felt really great to bite into that first crackling strip. Initially I was hit with the comforting smoky, meaty, and salty bacon flavor that was a tad saltier than most of my previous bacons, but also tasted more “right.” After that came a light heat that was the first unique stamp of the Cajun seasoning that was then built upon by garlicky and earthy flavors as I ate more. There was no doubt this had a flavor above and beyond the standard bacon, whether I would pin point that as uniquely Cajun if it wasn’t called out by name is debatable though, but it was an amazing tasting bacon none-the-less. That being said, that strong earthy heat isn’t going to be warranted in every bacon situation—which is why I always like smoking up a standard bacon alongside my more experimental ones—but when that extra Cajun flavor is desired, this bacon is going to serve you well, big time.
Published on Thu Apr 22, 2021 by Joshua Bousel

Print Recipe

Yield 10 servings

Prep 10 Minutes
Inactive 5 Days
Cook 1 Hour 30 Minutes
Total 5 Days 1 Hour 40 Minutes

Ingredients
3 tablespoons Kosher salt
1 tablespoon paprika
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon pink curing salt
1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 lbs boneless pork belly, skin removed
Procedure
In a small bowl, mix together salt, paprika, black pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, curing salt, oregano, cumin, and cayenne pepper. Coat pork belly all over with the cure and place in a large resealable plastic bag. Place in the coldest part of the refrigerator and cure for 5 to 7 days, flipping bag about every 12 hours.
Fire up smoker or grill to between 200-225°F, adding 1-2 fist-size chunks of smoking wood on top of the coals when at temperature. When wood is ignited and producing smoke, place pork belly in smoker, fat side up, and smoke until an instant read thermometer registers 150°F when inserted into thickest part of the meat. Remove pork belly from smoker and let cool. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in refrigerator until completely chilled.
Cut bacon into slices at desired width and cook using your favorite method. Store leftover bacon in Ziploc or vacuum sealed bags in the refrigerator for up to a week, or in the freezer for up to 4 months.

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By: meatmaster@meatwave.com (Joshua Bousel)
Title: Cajun-spiced Bacon
Sourced From: meatwave.com/recipes/homemade-cajun-spiced-bacon
Published Date: 04/22/21

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Cooking Tips

Strip Steak Tacos Recipe – How to Cook New York Strip Steak Tacos

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Strip Steak Tacos Recipe – How to Cook New York Strip Steak Tacos

Strip steak makes an excellent meat for fajitas. These fajitas are easy to prepare and require little clean-up. The steak is already seasoned, so you don’t need to marinate it before cooking. You can even freeze it for 30 minutes before you start cooking it.

If you plan on frying or baking the steak in tortillas, you should first marinate the steak before you begin cooking it. The marinating process will make it tender. Also, top sirloin steak is more tender than bottom sirloin. You can also purchase beef tenderloin, but it is more expensive than the other cuts.

First, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onions and peppers. Cook until they are soft but not browned. Once they are soft, add the steak and stir-fry until it is no longer raw. Remember that the steak doesn’t need to be cooked all the way; it will finish cooking when you add the vegetables.

Strip steak is a great option for fajitas because it has a great flavor and is easy to cook. Whether you want to use it in a taco or as part of a fajita, strip steak is easy to prepare. You can grill it to your liking and then serve it with grilled vegetables. You can even add your favorite toppings to it.

Once the steak has been marinated, you can cook it on a hot grill or cast iron skillet. For medium-rare steak, you should cook it for about four minutes per side. If you don’t have a large enough skillet, you can cut the meat into thin strips.

In addition to flank steak, you can also use skirt steak for fajitas. Skirt steak is tougher than flank steak and requires more time to cook. It is also tougher to chew, but the flavor is more intense than that of flank steak. It can be served with grilled vegetables, salsa, and cilantro.

Strip steak is a higher-end cut of beef. It is made from the short loin subprimal and comes with the backbone, but the backbone is usually removed. The more marbling, the higher the quality. As a result, strip steaks are one of the most expensive cuts of beef.

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Cooking Tips

How to Prepare Crusted Steak With Lemon Butter Steak Sauce

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How to Prepare Crusted Steak With Lemon Butter Steak Sauce

Crusted steak is a popular dish at steakhouses, which is easy to make at home. You can grill or bake it, depending on your preference. First, you need to bring the steak to room temperature. Then, mix the crumbs with herbs and sprinkle them over the meat. Cook the steak until it is cooked to your liking.

When cooking steak, use a thermometer to check the temperature. The internal temperature should be at least 150°F. You can also add sea salt, if you want to. Continue to cook the steak until it reaches a perfect medium rare or well-done level. When you’re finished cooking your steak, you can move it to the cool side of the grill away from the coals. It’ll finish cooking slowly over gentle heat, ensuring that it is just right.

After heating the steak, prepare the butter. You’ll need it for the final crust, which helps with the magic char. If you don’t like butter, you can use beef tallow or butter alternatives. You can also brush the steak with melted butter on one side, then the other side. Remember to turn the steaks every few minutes to achieve the final crust. If you’re not careful, you may end up with a burnt steak.

Peppercorns are also an essential ingredient for the crust of the steak, as they add additional flavor and texture. Crushed peppercorns can be crushed using a rolling pin, mallet, or spice grinder. You can also include tomato or balsamic vinegar to the mixture. If you have a conventional grill, you can use this method to cook steak on it.

If you’re looking for an easy way to prepare a steak with a crispy crust, you’ll want to try a Parmesan Crusted Steak. The combination of spices, herbs, and cheese in this recipe transforms the steak dining experience. Serve it with grilled vegetables and a glass of red wine to make the most out of it.

Another easy method for preparing a crusted steak is by using blue cheese. It adds a bit of texture to the steak and also helps bind the ingredients together. It also pairs well with balsamic-glazed caramelized shallots, which add a nice balance of flavors.

To prepare the steak crust, you first need to make sure you have a skillet large enough to accommodate the steak. After that, you can place the steak in the oven for a few minutes to get the bottom part of the steak hot. Once it reaches the desired temperature, it should rest for about five minutes before serving.

When preparing a steak crust, you should always consider the cut of beef you’re using. It’s important to choose a cut with the right fat and lean meat. You may also want to make the steak as thin as possible to reduce the risk of it being overcooked.

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Hawaiian Steak Recipe and Houston’s Hawaiian Ribeye Recipe

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Hawaiian Steak Recipe and Houston’s Hawaiian Ribeye Recipe

Hawaiian steaks are made with tender slices of beef, juicy pineapple, and sweet mini peppers. These ingredients are marinated and grilled until tender. Hawaiian steaks can be served with potatoes, fresh vegetables, and a simple salad. If you’re looking for a fast and easy dinner idea, Hawaiian steak kabobs are a great option.

To make Hawaiian steaks, you’ll need Hawaiian seasoning salt. This seasoning mix contains ‘alaea salt, garlic, onion, and ginger powder. It’s best if you apply the seasoning mix to the steaks at least 20 minutes before grilling. You can use Hawaiian seasoning salt for steaks, chicken, fish, and vegetables. Just remember to apply it liberally.

Hawaiian steaks can be cooked using a grill or on a barbecue grill. This method results in a juicy center and charred edges. The meat is best grilled in Hawai’i. Once you’ve cooked the beef, it can be stored in an airtight container for three to four days.

To prepare Hawaiian steaks, start by marinating the steak. You can use soy sauce, pineapple juice, apple cider vinegar, and garlic. Then, pour the marinade over the steaks and let them marinate for at least a day. You can also make the compound butter ahead of time and use it to cook the steaks.

Before grilling the steak, you should season it well on both sides. Heat a cast-iron pan on medium-high. Cook the steak for about two minutes on each side. Once finished, remove the steak from the grill and refrigerate it. Once the steak is cool, remove the excess fat.

To grill Hawaiian steaks, heat up a grill to medium-high or high. Grill the steaks until desired degrees of doneness are reached. The internal temperature of the steak should be 130F for rare steaks and 140F for medium-rare steaks. After the steaks are ready, you should transfer them to a cutting board and cover them with aluminum foil. Let them rest for 5 minutes before slicing.

The meat used in Hawaiian steaks is usually made from Spam, which is widely mocked on the mainland. It’s also served with pineapple. Spam is eaten in about a third of U.S. households and was the winner of a state fair recipe contest. One Hawaiian state fair recipe even turned Spam into a nacho burger.

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