For over 30 years in countries, including France, I have brine cured pork to transform it into American style ham. I like other hams; Bayonne, Serrano, Jambon d’Aoste, but my favorite ham remains that cured and smoked/unsmoked in the United States. Sue me.
This week I was discussing boneless pork loin roast for the holidays with the butcher at the Super Duper market. He went into the back room and returned with an enormous, over 12 lb boneless pork loin roast. He explained the cut and mentioned that about 3 lbs of the leaner portion at the end was the portion used to make Canadian bacon and that the larger portion would still make a substantial roast. Of course I had to do this 🙂 He showed me where I should cut it and away I went.
Interestingly, while researching recipes for Canadian bacon, I discovered that we don’t have it in the U.S. The bacon that we call Canadian is smoked to appeal to American tastes. Real Canadian bacon is brined, rolled in corn meal or ground yellow lentils and either sliced and fried or cooked as a roast. So I’m doing that!
The brine recipes that I saw on the internet were un-Rosemary, in that the fresh garlic, peppercorns and bay leaves were missing. I did add bay leaves, substituted the white sugar for brown sugar and used potassium nitrate instead of Prague powder. The large white container in the top picture is potassium nitrate that has bumped around the world with me for decades, doesn’t go bad and always works.
I will keep the pork in brine for 2 weeks. I like to put the meat in a zip lock bag, pour in the brine and, in case the brine leaks a bit, put the bag in a vegetable bin in the refrigerator.
We’ll see what happens in two weeks. I’m a little excited about rolling the roast in yellow cornmeal. Those Canadians!
Canadian Bacon Brine Cure
3/4 cup brown sugar
3/4 cup kosher salt
1 tsp potassium nitrate
1 tbsp powdered garlic
2-3 bay leaves
1 gallon pure, filtered water (can buy at store if your house water is questionable)
3 lb boneless pork loin
Mix the sugar, salt potassium, garlic powder, bay leaves and water together until the salt and sugar are dissolved.
Put the pork loin in a 2 1/2 gallon zip lock bag, pour in the brine, expel the air from the bag and place into a refrigerator, vegetable bin. Make sure the meat is completely submerged. You can weight it down with a pint jar filled with water. Refrigerate for 2 weeks.