I once rated pork loin as my least favorite cut of pork. Since the vast majority of my pork is wild, I felt obligated to cook it done or else. The result being an overlooked dry, lifeless meat.
Canadian bacon has changed everything. Consider the loin last place no more, my friends. A simple brine and time in a smoker has transformed this difficult cut (for me) into my favorite charcuterie dish to date. With multiple levels of flavor from the smoke and herbs, this Canadian Bacon is not your typical Egg McMuffin meat.
- 1 Gallon of Water
- 1.5 cups of Kosher Salt
- 1 Cup of Brown Sugar
- 8 tsp of instacure #1 (pink salt)
- Handful of fresh lavender
- 8-10 leaves of fresh sage
- 2 ounces of crushed juniper berries
- Crushed Black Pepper
- 5 pound pork loin, leave the fat if it’s sweet.
- Kill a fat pig and have your minions (if you own any) skin it.
- If the fat is sweet tasty goodness (test some by frying up and smell it), leave a good layer on the loin.
- Combine the sugar, salt and water and bring to a slight simmer to get it nice and dissolved. Allow it to cool to room temperature. If in the winter, setting it outside and adding a ziplock bag full of ice into your pot will speed the chilling process. You don’t want to add the loin to the brine when it’s warm because you will slightly cook it.
- When finally cooled, add the loin and rest of ingredients. Brine for about three days, weighing the meat down so its fully submerged.
- Remove and rinse in cool water. Pat dry and place on a cookie rack back in the fridge for another day.
- Hot smoke the bacon with your smoker at about 200 degrees to reach an internal temperature of 157-160, depending on your level of trichinosis paranoia. I used apple wood, but any approved BBQ wood will do.
Canadian bacon is excellent alone, as the featured entree, or to just keep around in the kitchen for sammiches and pizza. Make it as complex as you like by adding more and different spices, or keep it simple. Either way, it’s a good place to start with your next wild pork loin.