Making homemade bacon is so easy it should almost be illegal to sell. A simple mix of sugar, salt and pink salt (as given in Rhulman’s Charcuterie) pressed liberally into all sides and them wrapped up, flipped daily for a week and then smoked or slow braised in an oven. It’s simply amazing, fresh, and satisfying. And any cut with a nice fat-to-meat ratio will do. What are you waiting for?
I love fermentation. Life without it would be boring. To this end, I’ve started looking at fermenting foods along with the home brewing. Sure, I make bread, and that of course is fermented, but Korea has brought about a whole new appreciation for fermented foods.
The kimchi pictured here is a quick fermentation and is typically eaten with a beef soup known as seollangtang (설랑탕), or with some of their anti-hangover soups known as haekangguk (해장국). The picture to the right shows it pre-fermentation, and it sits at room temperature for a day or two before being refrigerated. The recipe is courtesy Kim Jin-ok (Korean language only) on her website.
Another recent project has been a second attempt at bacon. And this one turned out swimmingly (yeah, that’s my photo), as did the recent production of pastrami. Both of those recipes came from Ruhlman’s Charcuterie, which was introduced to me by fellow homebrewer and all-around DIYer Gord Sellar.
Oh, and since we bought some peppers that were hotter than expected, they’re in a jalepeno-style brine in the fridge, curing away. There’s a crabapple tree in the park across the street, and Alex wants to make jelly and put some in Makkeoli (막걸리), a Korean beer-like beverage made from rice. Many more projects to work on.
Alex’s projects include Kefir and cheese, (and as of last night, kefir cheese) which given a Wisconsin/Minnesota background, it’s rather par for the course. Oh, and mead. The beautiful candy-pink colour of this mead comes entirely from raspberries. It’s amazing.
I guess Korea has turned us into true do-it-yourselfers. That’s fine. Homemade tastes good. And the best thing about it is although it takes some time and know-how, a lot of that time is just waiting for the microscopic kitchen friends to work their magic. All I need to do is set them in motion.