Congratulations to Stephen P. of New Orleans for being our fan recipe contest winner for this week! Stephen submitted a recipe for chipotle-honey-glazed pork that we’ve posted below for everyone to enjoy. Be sure to round-up your recipe for next week when you’ll have another chance to win 20% off your next purchase.
yield: Serves 4
active time: 5 min
total time: 30 min
- 3 canned chipotle chiles in adobo (1/4 cup total)
- 3 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
- 3 tablespoons honey
- 1 1/2 pounds pork tenderloin
Preheat oven to 450°F.
Purée chipotles in adobo with garlic and honey in a blender until smooth. Pat pork dry and season with salt. Put pork on a foil-lined baking sheet and spread with chile glaze to coat well. Roast in middle of oven until an instant-read thermometer registers 155°F, about 20 minutes. Let stand 5 minutes on a cutting board before cutting into thin slices.
Congratulations to Beth B. of New Orleans for being our first winner in our new fan recipe contest! We’ve provided Beth’s recipe for curing and smoking our very own pork belly below. Be sure to submit your recipes next week for a chance to win 20% off your next purchase!
I use Michael Ruhlman’s recommended cure proportions then create a flavor profile for individual slabs of bacon, generally about 1.5 to 3 lbs per batch.
Curing the pork belly
Rinse it and pat dry with paper towels. Work on a big cutting board or in a large pan.
- Mix equal parts Kosher salt, black pepper and some sort of sugar or syrup (I’ve used brown sugar, maple syrup, Louisiana cane syrup, and raw Louisiana sugar.) The ratio is the weight of your pork belly multiplied by .025. A 3 lb. slab is about 1361 grams, so you need about 34 grams each of brown sugar, salt and pepper.
- Add to that Prague powder #1, the curing salt that makes bacon pink and controls botulism – multiply your pork belly’s weight by .042 for that amount. A 3-lb. slab uses about 5.7 grams (roll up to 6 grams as most kitchen scales won’t do decimal digits.) You can find this online, and at some local butcher shops. (One example:
This part really is more art than science, so here are two examples:
- Add to the curing rub the zest from a large orange, and 1/2 small can of chipotles in adobe sauce (mash peppers and sauce together). Smash about 8 big garlic cloves and pick eight big twigs of fresh rosemary.
- Put 10 grams each cinnamon stick, star anise and whole cloves into a spice grinder and blend together coarsely.
- Mash 10 grams each of garlic and ginger together and mix into the cure.
Curing the Belly
- Rub the pork belly thoroughly with the cure and seasoning mix. Get in the crevices and rub the ends and sides.
- Place the pork belly in a large ziplock (the 2-gallon size is perfect) and add any leftover rub right into the bag. If you have whole seasonings, like garlic cloves and rosemary or other herb sprigs, distribute them on both sides of the belly. Press the air out and zip the bag tight.
- Keep refrigerated for at least 7 days. Turn the bag and massage it every day. When it’s done, it will feel like a medium rare to medium steak to the touch. You can leave it a day or two longer if it feels too loose after 7 days.
- Once it’s cured, remove it from the bag, rinse it and pat it dry. You can slice and cook it at this point, but smoking adds a beautiful laquer and more flavor.
Smoking the Bacon
- Smoke at a temperature of between 175-225 until the internal temperature hits about 150. This can take several hours.
- If you’re using a Weber or barrel grill, build a very small fire with a mix of hot coals and wet chips or chunks in one corner of the grill, near the bottom or side vent. The vent should be barely open. The meat should be over on the other side, under the top vent. You want to draw air (smoke) to move across the wood, over the meat, and up through the barely open top vent. Use foil to put a baffle between the coals and the meat if you want to minimize direct heat transfer, and you can also seal the grill’s leaky places with foil as well.
- I recommend pecan for either of these savory combinations, but applewood is also a big favorite.
Slicing the Bacon
You’ll want to slice the end off immediately to savor the wonderful sticky, laquered exterior texture, so enjoy that. Eventually, you should chill it, even lightly freeze it, to make it easier to slice.