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It is "Bacon Mania" in Harry's world right now....

 
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Harry Nutczak
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Location: The Northwoods

PostPosted: Mon Dec 26 11 3:35 am    Post subject: It is "Bacon Mania" in Harry's world right now.... Reply with quote

I've gotten a few reliable, very talented employees at the end of summer, so their abilities have given me a little time to expand our offerings at the restaurant.

I ordered a case of Pork-Bellies to make some bacon as a sideline item for our customers, and it is really a good selling product, even at $7.50/LB which I thought would make it less than popular while running 33% cost ratio when I would rather be closer to 25%. But labor cost is low, so it is livable.
Honey-Cured and Peppered have been our 2 biggest sellers so far, so each week I get 60-120 pounds of belly in and make sure I always have bacon available for sale. It is starting to get bigger than I expected, I may have created a monster.

Anyways, here are our current varieties
Traditional
Garlic
Peppered This requires near a pound of black pepper per each slab
Honey-cured
2X Maple bacon, it is cured with maple syrup, and then it is smoked with only sugar maple wood.
Back Bacon, Cured/Smoked backloin AKA Canadian Bacon
Pea-Meal Bacon
I am currently working up a recipe for Black Forest Bacon which will be cured with Juniper berries and molasses. and I really want to do some schinkenspeck too.

If you need formulations for these, just let me know.
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Oregon smoker
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26 11 4:48 am    Post subject: Re: It is "Bacon Mania" in Harry's world right now Reply with quote

Harry Nutczak wrote:
I've gotten a few reliable, very talented employees at the end of summer, so their abilities have given me a little time to expand our offerings at the restaurant.

I ordered a case of Pork-Bellies to make some bacon as a sideline item for our customers, and it is really a good selling product, even at $7.50/LB which I thought would make it less than popular while running 33% cost ratio when I would rather be closer to 25%. But labor cost is low, so it is livable.
Honey-Cured and Peppered have been our 2 biggest sellers so far, so each week I get 60-120 pounds of belly in and make sure I always have bacon available for sale. It is starting to get bigger than I expected, I may have created a monster.

Anyways, here are our current varieties
Traditional
Garlic
Peppered This requires near a pound of black pepper per each slab
Honey-cured
2X Maple bacon, it is cured with maple syrup, and then it is smoked with only sugar maple wood.
Back Bacon, Cured/Smoked backloin AKA Canadian Bacon
Pea-Meal Bacon
I am currently working up a recipe for Black Forest Bacon which will be cured with Juniper berries and molasses. and I really want to do some schinkenspeck too.

If you need formulations for these, just let me know.


I would like the recipe for the Black Forest Bacon, please. Do you think it would work with loin bacon also?
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erniesshop
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26 11 6:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

It all sounds Awesome !
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solaryellow
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26 11 6:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Are you doing a brine or a dry rub cure?
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roxy
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26 11 7:33 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Must be nice Harry.. Up here in Canada we have to use a second kitchen to cure meat and make sausage that is for sale to the public..

How are you holding/serving this up at the resto..??
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Harry Nutczak
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Location: The Northwoods

PostPosted: Mon Dec 26 11 1:46 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I prefer dry-cure for all of our cured products, IMO, brine's are too sloppy, and they use an excess of curing ingredients. I also like the texture and flavor intensity of dry-cured products.
for a 12-15 pound belly, only 1.5 cups of honey or maple syrup is required, rub the salt, sugar and cure in first, then coat with the liquid, roll it up, wrap it tight, rinse well after curing.
I have not completed the black-forest bacon yet, but the flavor profile I hope to get is supposed to be similar to a dry-cured black forest ham. during curing, the belly will be seasoned with garlic, black pepper, coriander, molasses and ground Juniper berries. then very lightly smoked so I do not cover those unique flavors. I am hoping I can get a near black exterior from the molasses but have the interior look like prosciutto. I plan to hang it in the cooler after smoking to achieve heavy moisture loss and concentrate the flavors more. I expect about a 50% yield in weight as opposed to my current 85% weight retention.

roxy wrote:
Must be nice Harry.. Up here in Canada we have to use a second kitchen to cure meat and make sausage that is for sale to the public..

How are you holding/serving this up at the resto..??


We do not serve our cured/smoked products at the restaurant, we sell them uncooked, to go, for our customers to take home. We also do jerky and snack sticks.
If I decided to offer fresh meats in the form of sausage, steaks, roasts, etc, I could still do it under our current licensing if the fresh meat sales do not exceed 51% of total sales. But I have no interest in doing fresh meats, just cured/smoked products.
If we wanted to sell wholesale to other restaurants and they would sell retail, an establishment number would be required just like a meat packer facility
Could you explain the separate prep area rule by you? Does this rule preclude you from curing, smoking and cooking of your own bacon for service in the restaurant? If so, what is the difference in prep areas if you cook it and serve it compared to selling it raw? That sounds odd to me since other raw meats are handled for service in house..
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SoEzzy
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26 11 1:51 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I thought Black Forest was supposed to be cold smoked with pine and juniper?

Isn't it the pine that gives it the darker color?
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Harry Nutczak
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Location: The Northwoods

PostPosted: Mon Dec 26 11 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

SoEzzy wrote:
I thought Black Forest was supposed to be cold smoked with pine and juniper?

Isn't it the pine that gives it the darker color?


for a real "made in the black forest region of Europe ham" yes. But I am not going to burn coniferous woods in my pit since I also use this pit for all of our restaurant offerings.

I am just going for a flavor and appearance, not true to form of an actual B-F Ham.

EDITED TO ADD;
I have also learned that a true black forest ham produced in the black forest is coated with beef blood to give it the dark appearance. I will definitely not be doing that either.
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roxy
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26 11 9:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry Nutczak wrote:


We do not serve our cured/smoked products at the restaurant, we sell them uncooked, to go, for our customers to take home. We also do jerky and snack sticks.
If I decided to offer fresh meats in the form of sausage, steaks, roasts, etc, I could still do it under our current licensing if the fresh meat sales do not exceed 51% of total sales. But I have no interest in doing fresh meats, just cured/smoked products.
If we wanted to sell wholesale to other restaurants and they would sell retail, an establishment number would be required just like a meat packer facility
Could you explain the separate prep area rule by you? Does this rule preclude you from curing, smoking and cooking of your own bacon for service in the restaurant? If so, what is the difference in prep areas if you cook it and serve it compared to selling it raw? That sounds odd to me since other raw meats are handled for service in house..


Not really sure Harry, all I know is it was put into effect a while back and it stopped the small Ma and Pop deli's that cured their own corned beefs and pastrami's from doing this in house.. We have a seperate prep area in the back of the resto where the dish pit is. I plan to ask the HD if this is sufficient.
Also, we have to get a different vendors permit which includes government inspected scales to sell meats by the pound.
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solaryellow
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PostPosted: Mon Dec 26 11 9:44 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry Nutczak wrote:
I prefer dry-cure for all of our cured products, IMO, brine's are too sloppy, and they use an excess of curing ingredients. I also like the texture and flavor intensity of dry-cured products.
for a 12-15 pound belly, only 1.5 cups of honey or maple syrup is required, rub the salt, sugar and cure in first, then coat with the liquid, roll it up, wrap it tight, rinse well after curing.
I have not completed the black-forest bacon yet, but the flavor profile I hope to get is supposed to be similar to a dry-cured black forest ham. during curing, the belly will be seasoned with garlic, black pepper, coriander, molasses and ground Juniper berries. then very lightly smoked so I do not cover those unique flavors. I am hoping I can get a near black exterior from the molasses but have the interior look like prosciutto. I plan to hang it in the cooler after smoking to achieve heavy moisture loss and concentrate the flavors more. I expect about a 50% yield in weight as opposed to my current 85% weight retention.


Sounds good. I would love to see the finished product when it is done. Very Happy
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Harry Nutczak
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Location: The Northwoods

PostPosted: Mon Dec 26 11 11:23 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

roxy wrote:

Not really sure Harry, all I know is it was put into effect a while back and it stopped the small Ma and Pop deli's that cured their own corned beefs and pastrami's from doing this in house.. We have a separate prep area in the back of the resto where the dish pit is. I plan to ask the HD if this is sufficient.
Also, we have to get a different vendors permit which includes government inspected scales to sell meats by the pound.

The certified scale is common and understandable to protect the consumer from being shorted, but the separate prep area doesn't make sense to me unless the law is intended for a dry-aging area, and being misinterpreted by the inspectors. There are molds and bacteria responsible for creating a proper dry-aged product, and I can understand you would not want that near fresh foods. So what does this do to all the places that serve the famous "Smoked Beef" you guys are famous for?
Are the health department rules online anywhere, I would like to read through them to see if I can figure out their reasoning for this.
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Oregon smoker
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PostPosted: Tue Dec 27 11 2:22 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harry Nutczak wrote:
I prefer dry-cure for all of our cured products, IMO, brine's are too sloppy, and they use an excess of curing ingredients. I also like the texture and flavor intensity of dry-cured products.
for a 12-15 pound belly, only 1.5 cups of honey or maple syrup is required, rub the salt, sugar and cure in first, then coat with the liquid, roll it up, wrap it tight, rinse well after curing.
I have not completed the black-forest bacon yet, but the flavor profile I hope to get is supposed to be similar to a dry-cured black forest ham. during curing, the belly will be seasoned with garlic, black pepper, coriander, molasses and ground Juniper berries. then very lightly smoked so I do not cover those unique flavors. I am hoping I can get a near black exterior from the molasses but have the interior look like prosciutto. I plan to hang it in the cooler after smoking to achieve heavy moisture loss and concentrate the flavors more. I expect about a 50% yield in weight as opposed to my current 85% weight retention.

roxy wrote:
Must be nice Harry.. Up here in Canada we have to use a second kitchen to cure meat and make sausage that is for sale to the public..

How are you holding/serving this up at the resto..??


We do not serve our cured/smoked products at the restaurant, we sell them uncooked, to go, for our customers to take home. We also do jerky and snack sticks.
If I decided to offer fresh meats in the form of sausage, steaks, roasts, etc, I could still do it under our current licensing if the fresh meat sales do not exceed 51% of total sales. But I have no interest in doing fresh meats, just cured/smoked products.
If we wanted to sell wholesale to other restaurants and they would sell retail, an establishment number would be required just like a meat packer facility
Could you explain the separate prep area rule by you? Does this rule preclude you from curing, smoking and cooking of your own bacon for service in the restaurant? If so, what is the difference in prep areas if you cook it and serve it compared to selling it raw? That sounds odd to me since other raw meats are handled for service in house..



Thanks Harry!
Looking forward to seeing the results and hearing about it.
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Harry Nutczak
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PostPosted: Wed Jan 04 12 3:48 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

We just got another case of beautiful looking pork-bellies delivered, so hopefully I will get the Black-Forest bacon curing this week so I can see how my idea works out in the flavor department.

The honey-cured variety has been a huge hit around here nearing the popularity of our peppered-bacon.

So, out of the 4 bellies one is destined to be black-forest, one peppered, one traditional, and I am going to try a "Cider-Cured" bacon.
The plan is to use 1 cup of apple-cider, 2-cups of sugar, reduce it down in a saucepan on the stove to make a concentrated apple cider syrup, and coat a belly in that sticky mess for a week along with my normal curing ingredients. The Maple-Bacon was a little disappointing, it did not pick up as much maple syrup flavor as I had hoped for, so instead of using syrup for the next batch, i am going to use maple sugar and see if that brings out the flavor of maple more. I have it hanging to lose moisture right now to see if that concentrates the flavor a little better, maybe it will work? maybe it wont?
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solaryellow
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PostPosted: Thu Jan 05 12 12:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Looking forward to hearing the results Harry. Very Happy
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