Lamb Bacon

Preparation info

  • Difficulty

    Medium

  • Makes

    3½ to 4 pounds

Appears in

The Bacon Bible

The Bacon Bible

By Peter Sherman and Stephanie Banyas

Published 2019

  • About

This is a labor of love, but the results are worth it. Lamb bacon (made from lamb belly, which is also known as lamb breast) has a milder and sweeter flavor than pork, but this fatty and slightly gamey meat is perfect for smoking. Lamb bacon can be used exactly the same way as pork bacon. I love serving it with braised cabbage and potatoes for St. Patrick’s Day, but it can be found every day on BarBacon’s lunch menu as part of the lamb bacon reuben—and it’s kosher.

Ingredients

  • cup (60 g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • cup (75 g) packed light brown sugar
  • 2 teaspoons pink curing salt (aka Instacure #1)
  • 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
  • 2 teaspoons dried herbs de Provence
  • 1 teaspoon ground cayenne
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 (4- to 5-pound/1.8- to 2.3-kg) boneless lamb breast, fat left on (have your butcher debone it)
  • Soaked and drained apple, hickory, or cherry wood chips or chunks, or pellets or sawdust (amount recommended by your smoker manufacturer)
  • Canola oil

Method

Combine the kosher salt, brown sugar, pink salt, cinnamon, herbs de Provence, cayenne, onion powder, and garlic powder in a small bowl. Rub the lamb breast well on both sides with the mixture.

Place the meat on a sheet pan and wrap the top tightly with plastic wrap or put in a large plastic container with a lid and cure in the refrigerator for 7 days, turning it over daily to redistribute the liquid that will accumulate. After 7 days, rinse the lamb well with cold water and pat it dry with paper towels.

Line a clean baking sheet with parchment paper or foil, put the lamb breast on it, and refrigerate it for at least 8 hours, or up to 24 hours to dry out the surface.

Set up your smoker following the manufacturer’s instructions and preheat it to between 200 and 225°F (93 and 107°C). Add wood chips or chunks to the coals. Lay the lamb directly on the grill grate opposite the coals (indirect heat). Smoke the lamb until bronzed with wood smoke and firm, 2 to 3 hours. The internal temperature should reach 155°F (68°C). (Insert an instant-read thermometer probe through the side of the lamb at one end.)

Transfer the lamb bacon to a clean wire rack over a baking sheet and let it cool to room temperature. Tightly wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for at least 4 hours, or up to 24 hours.

To serve, put the lamb bacon on a cutting board, and using a sharp chef’s knife, slice crosswise into thin slices (see Note). Heat a few tablespoons oil in a sauté pan over high heat until it begins to shimmer and cook on both sides until golden brown, about 2 minutes per side. Bacon will last up to 1 week in the fridge, simply slice off pieces as needed.