Peameal Bacon

Aka Canadian Bacon

Preparation info

  • Makes about

    3 pounds

    • Difficulty

      Medium

Appears in

The Bacon Bible

The Bacon Bible

By Peter Sherman and Stephanie Banyas

Published 2019

  • About

This bacon comes from pork loin, which is a lean and rather dry cut of meat that needs a brine to pump it up with lots of moisture and flavor. This bacon (which is cured but NOT smoked) is considered the real Canadian bacon thanks to the addition of pure maple syrup and cornmeal on the outside, which gives it a distinct texture and appearance, as opposed to what Americans consider Canadian bacon (the thinly sliced meat served with eggs Benedict).

Ingredients

  • ¼ cup (45 g) Diamond Crystal kosher salt
  • 1 tablespoon pink curing salt (aka Instacure #1)
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) pure Grade B maple syrup
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 3 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1 lemon, quartered
  • 2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 8 whole cloves
  • 2 teaspoons black peppercorns
  • 1 (3-pound/1.4-kg) center-cut pork loin, trimmed of all excess fat
  • cups (180 g) coarse yellow cornmeal
  • Canola oil
  • Unsalted butter

    Method

    Combine 4 cups (960 ml) water, the kosher salt, pink salt, maple syrup, bay leaves, thyme, lemon, mustard seeds, garlic, cloves, and peppercorns in a medium pot and bring to a simmer, stirring to dissolve the salts. Remove from the heat and let cool completely.

    Put the loin in a large zip-top bag, pour in the brine, seal well, and place in a large bowl.

    Cure in the refrigerator for 72 hours, turning the bag once every 24 hours.

    Drain the loin in a colander or large basin and rinse well with cold water. Blot it dry with paper towels. Place the loin on a wire rack over a rimmed baking sheet in the refrigerator or in a cool place in front of a fan (the goal is to create good airflow), and let it dry until the surface feels papery and tacky, at least 4 hours, or overnight.

    Put the cornmeal on a large plate and roll the loin in the cornmeal to coat evenly. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap until ready to eat.

    To serve, heat 2 tablespoons oil and 2 tablespoons butter in a large cast-iron skillet or non-stick pan over medium-high heat until the butter melts and the mixture starts to shimmer. Slice the bacon crosswise into slices ¼ inch (6 mm) thick and sauté until cooked through and golden brown on both sides, about 2 minutes per side. Bacon will last up to 1 week in the fridge, simply slice off pieces as needed.