Irish bacon is very close to what Americans think of Canadian bacon, as its meat content is lean. The European cut, called bacon, comes from the pig, not the belly, from which the American bacon originates. Irish bacon is traditionally hardened and then cooked, but removed from the heat shortly before it becomes crisp. Irish bacon usually has a layer of fat around the cut that makes many people feel they add extra flavor. Treat a slice of Irish bacon at home and get compliments on the unique taste of this meat.
Treat your own Irish bacon for a rich personal taste.
Weigh the meat and figure out how much hydrotherapy you need. According to Bradley Smoker, 5 pounds of Irish bacon requires 5 pounds of brine mixture. Adjust the brine up and down depending on the piece of meat.
Bake the meat as you prepare the cure. The Bradley Cure recipe includes a store-bought blend of onion powder, onion powder, garlic powder, white pepper, maple syrup and maple flavor. Another recipe by chef Michael Ruhlman includes garlic, maple syrup, laurel leaves, nutmeg, cedar berries and thyme. Maple is a popular curing flavor for Irish bacon with brown sugar and honey. Buy your own treatment mix or find a recipe and do it from scratch.
Put your meat in the curing tray. This would be a plastic bag or container, whatever is airtight. Rub the spice mixture over the whole meat to coat it evenly.
Put the meatballs in the fridge for seven days. Halfway through the grill the meat again distributes the mixture of spices and any moisture that has accumulated on the ground. Bradley Smoker says the refrigerator needs to be set to between 34 and 40 degrees Fahrenheit. If the maximum thickness of your incision is 1 inch, a week of treatment is sufficient. If it reaches two inches at one point, harden the meat for 14 days.
After healing, remove the meat from the curing vessel and rinse. Preheat a smoker or oven to between 140 and 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Bradley Smoker recommends cooling rinsed meat overnight before smoking. If you use a smoker, leave the flap open – you don't want to smoke the meat, just dry it.
Put the meat in a pan in your oven or on your smoker's shelf for 90 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to measure the inside temperature. Place the thermometer on the thickest part of the meat and do not remove the meat from the oven or the smoker until the thermometer reaches 150 degrees Celsius. In the smoker, it may take two to three hours for the bacon to harden. Remove if reddish brown.
Remove from heat and allow to cool. Then wrap the meat in plastic or aluminum foil and refrigerate until ready to cook.