American Lamb Bacon
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Credit: Christopher DeJohn, CEC, AAC, Executive Chef, Centerplate Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium, Denver
The National Culinary Review, May 2014
10 whole star anise
4 cinnamon sticks
½ cup whole fennel seeds
½ cup whole black peppercorns
¼ cup whole allspice berries
3 lbs. kosher salt
1 lb. brown sugar
1 bunch fresh thyme, rough chopped
½ bunch fresh rosemary, rough chopped
½ oz. tinted curing mix
½ oz. hickory smoke powder (or liquid smoke)
1 lamb belly
Olive oil, as needed
1. For dry cure, in saute pan over medium heat, combine star anise, cinnamon, fennel, peppercorns and
allspice. Toss spices gently over heat for about 5 minutes to draw out essential oils. Remove from pan. Put in spice grinder; pulse.
2. In large bowl, combine salt, sugar, thyme, rosemary and curing mix. Add fennel mixture and hickory smoke powder; mix well.
3. For lamb bacon, place 3x3-footsquare cheesecloth over perforated rack or pan set over closed hotel pan. Sprinkle half cure on cheesecloth; top with lamb belly, fat side down. Spread remaining cure evenly over top of belly, coating sides, as well. Fold cheesecloth over top; refrigerate lamb for 48 hours.
4. Remove belly from cure mix; rinse gently under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels; rewrap in cheesecloth. Hang in cold environment to dry until ready to use.
5. Slice 3 oz. portion lamb belly per serving. Rub slice(s) with olive oil; grill about 2 minutes per side. Allow cooked bacon to rest before eating.
Note: Wrap tightly; hold up to two weeks in refrigerator and four months in freezer.
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