I’ve been curing pork belly for ‘American’ style bacon for over a year now, and thought I would make some ‘Canadian/British/Australian’ style of bacon, which consists of the loin. Over here, you can get either ‘long-cut’ or ‘short-cut’ bacon, which essentially refers to whether the bacon consists of the loin and belly connected, or not, respectively. I just got the loin only, which would be ‘short-cut’, and I took the skin off beforehand, so it would also be ‘rindless’. When using the belly, I’ve always used a dry cure (no liquid), but this time I made a curing brine solution.
2 kg (4 lb) boneless pork loin, skin, fat and sinew removed
4 litres (1 gal) water
350 g (1.5 cups) salt
225 g (1 cup) sugar
42 g (1.5 oz; 8 tsp) pink salt
2 garlic cloves, crushed
2 Tb juniper berries, crushed
2 Tb coriander seeds, crushed
4 long branches of fresh rosemary, roughly chopped (~1/2 cup)
Combine all brine ingredients and bring to a simmer in a large pot. Allow to cool to room temperature and then refrigerate until chilled. Place the pork loin in the chilled brine and cure for 48 h. The pork must be completely submerged, so either use a deep dish with a bowl to keep the pork submerged or use a large zip bag and seal it with no air space. Remove the loin from the brine and rinse under cold water thoroughly. Ideally, you would leave the loin to dry a bit in the fridge for 24 h, then hot smoke, but I just patted the loin dry and then cooked it in the oven at 95 C (200 F) for about 2 h, or to an internal temperature of 65 C (150 F). Allow to cool and then refrigerate. I’ve recently been alternating between friend bacon or corned beef served with eggs for breakfast recently. Not sure which I like more!