If, like me, you got an instant hankerin' to get that piggy goodness a-curing, you'll get to it right away.
When you're ready to get the meat on the smoker, take it out of the fridge and let it sit out for an hour or two to warm up a little, it helps the smoking process. Now, should timing issues arise, as they did with me, you might not have time to smoke the meat after 7 days. I suggest you freeze the cured meat in a ziploc-style bag. Once you're ready to smoke it, let it thaw out overnight in the fridge. It'll be ready to go, but when you remove it from the bag, pat it dry with paper towel. You don't want any moisture on the meat before it goes in the smoker.
And now, let's smoke our bacon!
So, we've talked at length about smoking on this blog, so check the link for this post to get the detailed basics. In this case, the desired smoking conditions are 225 to 250 Fahrenheit for about 4 hours for 2 pounds. The more meat you smoke, the longer it'll take. As usual, I use lump maple charcoal to build the fire. For smoke, I used a handful of apple wood chips, soaked in water for about 30 minutes (hence, apple-wood smoked bacon!). As you smoke the bacon, rotate each piece every 30 minutes or so to ensure even smoking on all sides. Because the bacon is already cured, there's nothing that needs to be added while it smokes. Once you've smoked it for 4 hours, it's ready to go. Remove it from the smoker and let it rest for 30 minutes before slicing.
You can slice the bacon however you want. I like thick slices of bacon, so I just used a kitchen knife and sliced about 3 millimetres thick. If you prefer your bacon to be the same thickness as what you get at the supermarket, you're going to need a deli slicer, or surgical precision with a knife.
Now, this is a post about making sandwiches, so we should maybe get on that!
Making the BAT (Bacon, Avocado and Tomato) Sandwich
The regular BLT is a pretty damn tasty sandwich in its right, but I find ordinary iceberg lettuce utterly boring, except maybe on a hamburger. So, I picked up a box of mixed greens (red leaf lettuce, spinach and other greens) and decided that instead of using the greens in the salad, I'd have them on the side with a tasty little dressing. So, what the heck should replace the lettuce? Hmmmm, well, avocado's green, that'll do as a replacement (it's also really freaking delicious!). And with that, we have the BAT!
|Fryin' up the goodness!|
Makes 2 sandwiches
- 6 slices homemade bacon, cut about 3 millimetres thick
- 4 slices rye bread
- 1 ripe tomato, sliced
- 1 ripe avocado, pitted and sliced
- 2 tbsp mayonnaise
- black pepper to taste
- Fry up bacon slices in a skillet to desired doneness. Thicker-cut bacon can be cooked until very crispy (even a little burnt) on the outside while still being tender on the inside, so it's pretty hard to overdo it. Set done bacon on paper towels to drain.
- While frying bacon, put bread in the toaster and toast to desired doneness
- Spread mayo and pepper on bread and layer bacon, tomato and avocado. Slice sandwich in half and serve with salad.
Quick Dressing for Green Salad
- 2 tbsp avocado or olive oil
- 1 tbsp tarragon vinegar
- juice of 1/8 lemon or lime
- small pinch red pepper flakes
- small pinch kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp maple syrup
- Whisk all ingredients together and toss over greens.
And there you have it - a celebacon! (like celebration, but with bacon... shut up, it's funny!)
|The BAT with the L on the side...|