25 May, 2008

Best's Smoked Beef Bacon

I was at the wholesale butcher yesterday and found a bunch of cured and smoked beef plate ends, in cryovac and labeled Best's Smoked Beef Bacon. I've had "beef bacon" before (though always in standard consumer packaging, sliced and labeled in the same way regular bacon is sold) and enjoy it as a change in routine from regular bacon, so I picked one up.

The labels says that the plate is cured with "water, salt, sodium phosphate, sodium erothorbate, sodium nitrite" and notifies that buyer that the product contains "20% water" so I'm guessing that they use a wet brine cure injected into the meat, rather than a dry salt rub. Once outside of the packaging, there is a distinctly mild beefy aroma with a hint of smoke. Not nearly as "bacony" as some other beef bacons, and nothing at all like regular bacon. In fact, it was quite reminiscent of a good pastrami (but without the black pepper) - and even more like Montreal smoked meat as famously served at Schwartz's.

So I cut a few thin slices from the flat cut of the plate, and put them in a skillet to fry them up. Unfortunately, there's so much water in the stuff that it doesn't really fry, it just kind of steams and gurgles in it's own boiling juices. As bacon, it was a real disappointment.

However, as smoked meat, shaved off into extra-thin slices and steamed hot and juicy, piled high on good rye bread with mustard and a half-sour pickle on the side, it was aces. So good, in fact, that the next time I stop at that butcher, I'll be picking up another couple of packages.

Link: Best Provision Company

1 comment:

Just Cook It said...

I've never seen this in the UK but I am going to hunt it out. I love the idea of smoked beef bacon, even if I end up curing it myself. Also, glad you liked the pheasant tale - I will never be plucking another pheasant again after the ease at which the skin came off. Thanks for the kind words. Best, Alex