Friday, October 5, 2007

Makin' Bacon -Stage 2


Alright then! It's been seven days since I dry rubbed my pork belly with curing salt and spices. During that time it's been sitting in the bottom drawer of my refrigerator having it's myglobin converted into nitric oxide myoglobin, becoming infused with the aroma of nutmeg, juniper, thyme and black pepper and absorbing sodium, chloride ions and sugar molecules that will keep it from drying out too much while inhibiting bacterial growth. It has also acquired a name: Mike.

No one is going to be as surprised as I was when I withdrew the meat from the refrigerator today and heard the pork belly tell me that he wanted to be called "Mike."

Aghast, I said "Mike as in Michael Ruhlman, the author of the book Charcuterie, the guy who wrote the recipe that I used to cure you?"

"No man," he said "Michael Bolton the singer. He's singing swing now, and since I'm going to be swinging from a rope soon, I figured what the hell, that's my cure."

Never one to argue with talking food, especially pork with an obscure rationality I said "Okay Mike, roll over" and proceeded to roll him, tie him up and hang him in the basement. It's not much of a story, I know, but it's the truth.

(The last photo shows a pot filler faucet I'm installing. It's only in there temporarily until I get the stone for the wall behind the stove. It seems weird to me that the faucet is like twice the price of the travertine and glass tiles but I suppose if I added in the cost of my labor for installing the tiles they'd be more expensive.)



10 comments:

Scotty said...

Bob,

My I inquire as to the ambient temperature in your basement? I am torn between using that pork belly I am scoring for smoked bacon, pork belly confit or following in your footsteps. Because of the configuration of my basement, I am afraid it is too warm.

Bob del Grosso said...

My basement is typically 65-68 degrees and the air moves around pretty freely.

Scotty said...

Yeah, I cannot match that. Part of the problem is that we have an evil combination of living space and unfinished space and not a lot of air movement except by the dehumidifier these days (which also produces heat and when it cools, when heat the space. My fear, as the weather cools and dries is that the two places that are cool enough are the laundry room (ummm, snuggle flavored pancetta) or what we call the wine cellar. The sump is there - what bacteria might that bring . . .

The Foodist said...

That last picture had me giggling.. I can almost hear it now..

"Can you go down to the basement and grab me something? oh and watch out for my meat!"

ruhlman said...

looks gorgeous, bob!

Tags said...

Michael, how did you see your screen through all the flies?

And while we're swingin', Robert

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TsS811o21-k

The Foodist said...

Btw.. what did you do with the slice you cut off from Mike?!

please tell you fried it up and had a nice slab'o'bacon!

Bob del Grosso said...

foodist
Ruhlman suggested I cut off a piece to save and compare to the final product. It's in the freezer.

The Foodist said...

Ah, makes sense! Thanks

redman said...

I agree, beautiful piece of meat and nice job tying it off