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About Me


Found 10 results

  1. Hi fellow forumites, I've got 10 kg of bacon that will be ready for slicing in the next 7 days or so. Hand cut ends up with rashers that are a little to generous. Can anyone recommend / have for sale a slicer to do the job cost effectively? Cheers n Gone Nick
  2. I've had some success curing & smoking my own bacon over the last few months (both streaky & back) using a couple of different cures (one fairly plain with juniper, bay, pepper) and one sweeter with maple syrup but I'm always interested in finding new and unusual cures & smokes to use. Has anyone got anything a bit left-field that they can share that works well? I've mainly smoked in cherry and maple.
  3. I was working away in Birmingham again this week, and got back last night. My better half had removed the Angus and Oink Christmas cured bacon from the vac pacs, rinsed and dried off. Placed in the fridge overnight for the pellicle to form. So it was perfectly ready to smoke. At 10pm last night, i put it on with Applewood dust. A single layer of the Pro Q was a bit full. I did actually rearrange after this picture was taken so that the pieces were not touching. This was originally a single piece of loin. This morning at 7am, the smoke generator had just a small amount of sawdust left. My estimation based on the first test cook was perfect. It is now all vac pac'd again and waiting for 2 of these to be sliced on Christmas Eve. Most will be given to family and friends. The last slab i will leave vac'd in the fridge for January/Feb consumption. The kitchen smells like a smoky Christmas already and i haven't even cooked any yet! In the New Year, i am going to play with flavouring my own cures. As lovely as this A&O one is, i don't see why i can't do just as well. Thanks, Phil.
  4. I’m having my first crack at making bacon at the moment having brought my self a pro q cold smoke generator. I’ve just finished 5 days of curing in a salt, demorera sugar, black pepper, bay and juniper berry mix. It’s now wrapped in muslin and hanging in my shed for a few days. Im planning to use some maple wood dust in the cold smoke. Does anyone have an idea how long it should smoke for? Cheers Neil
  5. If any of you are near Faversham, Kent this weekend then why not come along to the Brogdale Cider Festival and say hi at the Woodchurch Smokery stand. I will also be doing 4 sessions in their demonstration kitchen over the weekend - including Fattys, ribs, and bacon and salmon curing.
  6. With the recent marketing announcement that Finnebrogue Artisan Foods have launched their new Nitrite/Nitrate free cure the press have once again have been guided towards the 2015 World Health Organisation (WHO) and IARC (International Agency for Research on Cancer) working group report on the "Carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat and processed meat". It is reported that Finnebrogue have invested ~£14m in the development of their new fruit based cure and this is the first time they have launched a commercial bacon product, and so it is not unexpected that they will be wanting to highlight information that could help in the promotion of their new product. Unfortunately, once the media sense a story it can often lead to a misrepresentation of the facts that can confuse and mislead the public. The recent emphasis in the press has been on the perceived dangers of developing cancer as a result of eating bacon that has been processed using Nitrite and Nitrate based upon the WHO report. Whilst I like to keep an open mind based upon latest research, especially when it comes to food safety, I do like to try to ensure that information/evidence is considered in the correct context and that relevant conclusions are being reached and sensationalism avoided. With this in mind I have tried below to cut through some of the hype that has appeared recently in the media. The WHO and IARC do a lot of very important research and present their conclusions to allow individual governments to define their own local safety policies. The WHO/IARC working group (consisting of 22 people from different countries) choose to do this review based on epidemiological studies suggesting that small increases in the risk of several cancers may be associated with high consumption of red meat or processed meat. Although these risks are small, they could be important for public health because many people worldwide eat meat and meat consumption is increasing in low- and middle-income countries. The base research was not carried out directly by the working group however they were reviewing the data from 800 separate studies carried out by others from all over the world to try to establish whether they showed any link between the consumption of red meat and processed meat with the development of cancer in humans. Of the 800 studies the information in only 15 were deemed of sufficient granularity and quality for looking at the possible effects of eating Red meat and only 18 studies for Processed meat. These studies though were of sufficient size samples that they felt that statistical conclusions could be drawn from their results. The conclusions drawn by the members of the working group were not unanimous and were reached as a majority decision - which suggests that the results themselves were not necessarily compelling. The exact size of the majority was not specified so it could have been as large as 21:1 or as little as 12:10. Of the 15 studies reviewed for Red meat, 7 reported a positive association of colorectal cancer with high vs low consumption. Of the 18 studies reviewed for Processed meat, 12 reported a positive association of colorectal cancer with consumption. It is not clear from the report whether the subsequent conclusions were drawn from all of the studies or only from those that showed positive associations. The report also says that there is inadequate evidence in experimental animals for the carcinogenicity of consumption of red meat and of processed meat. Whilst the media have understandably used this report to selectively focus on bacon, the report itself does not actually mention bacon at all. It only refers generically to Processed Meat, which is defined in an associated WHO Q&A paper as "meat that has been transformed through salting, curing, fermentation, smoking, or other processes to enhance flavour or improve preservation. Most processed meats contain pork or beef, but might also contain other red meats, poultry, offal (e.g., liver), or meat byproducts such as blood… …Examples of processed meat include hot dogs (frankfurters), ham, sausages, corned beef, and biltong or beef jerky as well as canned meat and meat-based preparations and sauces". It is therefore not known how big an impact eating bacon specifically has within any of these studies. The conclusions drawn from the studies do not differentiate between the different types of cure used in the Processed meats or the amount of any cure present. In some of the countries in which these studies where carried out (e.g. Japan) it would be more usual to cure their foods using only salt and not use Nitrate or Nitrite at all. The amount of cure in the meat is actually quite difficult to assess as the "ingoing" cure levels that we calculate when starting to cure and the resulting "residual" cure levels in the food that we eat are very different. Whilst ingoing Nitrite is now at a maximum of 150 mg/Kg in the US and EU it is relatively unstable and is broken down quite quickly by heat, enzyme and bacterial action. The amount of Nitrite taken up will also vary on the meat being cured. The residual levels of Nitrite in the meat after curing will be significantly lower than the ingoing levels and subsequent cooking will reduce these levels even further. The average levels of residual nitrite in cured meat products are in the range 10–40 mg/kg with values in the U.S. being in the lower part of the range. The report Q&A paper states that "Cooking at high temperatures or with the food in direct contact with a flame or a hot surface, as in barbecuing or pan-frying, produces more of certain types of potentially carcinogenic chemicals. However, there were not enough data for the IARC Working Group to reach a conclusion about whether the way meat is cooked affects the risk of cancer". The report also concludes that the potential risk of developing colorectal cancer increases by 18% with every 50 g of Processed meat that you consume daily, however it does not explain what that 18% refers to. Quoting statistical increases is always open to misinterpretation - especially by the media - as it can appear to make results more significant than they actually are. An example of this would be that an increase likelihood from, say, 1 in 1million to 2 in 1million (a pretty insignificant increase in most cases) but when described as a % increase it would actually be expressed as a 100% increase. Another reason for the media to over interpret the results is that Processed meat was recently classified by the IARC as carcinogenic to humans (Group 1) - in the same category as tobacco smoking and asbestos. They are clear to explain though that this does not mean that consumption of processed meat is as carcinogenic as tobacco smoking and asbestos. The IARC classifications describe only the strength of the scientific evidence about an agent being a cause of cancer, rather than assessing the comparative level of risk at specific exposure levels. To try to put the risk of cancer from Processed meat into a comparative perspective: There are approximately 7.4 billion people in the world today and according to the most recent estimates by the Global Burden of Disease Project, there are about 34,000 cancer deaths per year worldwide that are attributable to diets that are high in processed meat. These numbers contrast with about 1 million cancer deaths per year globally due to tobacco smoking, 600,000 per year due to alcohol consumption, and more than 200,000 per year due to air pollution. Subsequent to the publishing of the 2015 report the Chairman of the EFSA's (European Food Safety Authority) Panel on Food Additives and Nutrient Sources Added to Food said: “We re-assessed the safety of nitrites and nitrates added to food… and concluded that there was no need to change previously set safe levels for either". So, based upon this report should you avoid eating bacon? You have to be comfortable with the food that you are eating and so it is a personal choice as to whether you stop based upon the small perceived increased risk of developing colorectal cancer. If this is your decision then remember that the report refers to the eating of ALL processed meat - and not just bacon. References used: Carcinogenicity of consumption of red and processed meat Q&A on the carcinogenicity of the consumption of red meat and processed meat IARC Monographs evaluate consumption of red meat and processed meat Nitrite and nitrosyl compounds in food preservation Nitrites and nitrates added to food
  7. Time to Cure and Cold Smoke your own Bacon. "FORUM WARNING" Once you have made your own Bacon, you will not buy Supermarket Bacon again! Curing and Cold Smoking Bacon
  8. Whole Roasted Cabbage with Bacon & Onion Ingredients: 1 Whole Cabbage 3 Bacon Slices 1 Chopped Onion 1/2 cup BBQ Sauce 2 Tbsp Butter 1/2 cup Chicken Stock Directions: Preparation 1. Remove the tough outer leaves of a whole cabbage that has been washed and dried. Using a sharp knife cut the hard core out of the centre of the cabbage. To do this cut a cone shape around the core, turn the cabbage upside down and give it a few taps; the core should simply drop out. 2. Fry the bacon slices until cooked and crisp. Reserve 1 tbsp of the bacon fat. Drain on paper towel and crumble into small pieces. Set aside. 3. Heat the reserved bacon fat in a skillet on medium heat and add the diced onion. Sauté, stirring often, until the onion becomes soft and translucent (about 5 minutes). Add the bacon crumbles and ¼ C of the BBQ sauce to the onions stirring to incorporate. Remove from heat. Spoon this mixture into the cavity of the cabbage. 4. Set Smoker to run @ 105'C. Using a long piece of scrunched up tin foil create a ring that fits around the base of the stuffed cabbage. Place the ring on the bottom rack of the grill and stand the stuffed cabbage upright inside the ring. Baste the outside of the cabbage with some of the remaining BBQ sauce. Close the lid and smoke the cabbage for approximately 2 hours basting with BBQ sauce every ½ hour. Being careful, slip the cabbage off the grill and onto a pan. 5. Wrap the cabbage in heavy foil leaving an opening at the top. Melt the butter and combine with the chicken broth. Pour this mixture over the top of the cabbage then seal the foil to fully enclose the cabbage. Place the foil wrapped cabbage back on the Smoker, close the lid and raise the temperature to 175'C. Continue baking the cabbage until it becomes soft and starts to lose its shape. Test with a skewer to make sure the cabbage is cooked all the way through before removing from the grill. Depending on the size of your cabbage, this could take from 2 ½ - 4 hours. 6. Spoon the stuffing into a bowl, chop the cabbage into bite-sized pieces and toss with the onion/bacon stuffing. Add some extra BBQ sauce (that’s been heated) if desired. Serve immediately. Chop the Onion Fry the Bacon and Onion Crispy Bacon Mix the Bacon & Onion with the BBQ Sauce One Cabbage Remove the core Stuff the Cabbage with the Bacon mixture. Cover the Cabbage with BBQ Sauce. Into the Smoker Foil and add Chicken Stock and Butter after two hours. Cabbage cooked and ready to serve. Back To The Smokin Monkey Cook Book
  9. Chicken & Bacon Lasagne Ingridients 1 Medium Sized Onion 2 Cloves Garlic Chopped 250g Mushrooms 200g Grated Cheddar Cheese I Jar Of Tomato Pasta Sauce (make your own?) 1 Jar Of lasagne White Sauce 1 Medium Chicken Favorite Chicken Rub 4 Rashes of Smoked Bacon 4g of Dried Oregano 6 lasagne Sheets, for this size dish Directions Set smoker up to 180'C indirect cooking and your favorite wood. Apply rub to the chicken, and cook for approx 2 hours until thickest part reads. Meanwhile chop onions, mushrooms and garlic. Sauté in pan until soft. Fry bacon until just crispy. When chicken cooked allow to rest until cool enough to handle. Pull chicken from carcass and add with the bacon to onions etc. Add pasta sauce and cook for 15 minutes. Add a layer of meat to the bottom of your dish, then a layer of Pasta, then a layer of White Sauce. Repeat layer and finish with the Grated Cheese. Cook in smoker @ 180'C for approx 1 hour until pasta is soft and cooked. Apply your Rub and smoke your Chicken. Its getting hot in here! Onions, Mushrooms and Garlic ready to sauté Sautéed Bacon fried till crispy. Chicken added to the Bacon . Bacon, Chicken, Onion, Mushrooms & Garlic with Sauce added. Cheese Grated. Layer up the Lasagne. Top with grated Cheese. Back into the smoker to finish. Served with a side Salad. Back to The Smokin Monkey Cook Book
  10. Smokin Monkey


    Shroomballz Ingridients 8 Open Cup Mushrooms (Golf Ball Size) 500g Pork Mince 16 Rashers Streaky Bacon 1 Tub of Cream Cheese 2 Mozzarella Balls 2 teaspoons Mixed Herbs Salt Pepper Directions Mix in a bowl Mince, Herbs and Salt & Pepper to taste. Remove stalks from mushrooms and scrape gills out with a teaspoon. Place a teaspoon of Cream Cheese into mushroom and smooth out. Divide Mozzarella Balls into four. Divide mince into eight balls. Flatten mince out and place a piece of Mozzarella in the middle. Fold the Mince around Cheese until it's fully enclosed. Place meat ball onto Mushroom. Use the two slices of Streaky Bacon, wrap one around Shroom, then wrap the at 90 degrees to form a cross. Pin in place with a cocktail stick. Set Smoker up for indirect cooking @ 150'C and wood of your choice. Cook at 150'C for 1 Hour, then turn up to 250'C our higher to crisp the Bacon. Just before the end of the cooking, you can coat in your favorite BBQ Sauce and cook for another 5 minutes. Pack of Pork Mince Mushrooms with stalks removed Soft Cheese, I like it with a touch of Chilli. Mushrooms with a teaspoon of Cream Cheese. Peice of Mozzarella placed in the middle of the mince. Form the Mince around the Cheese to make a ball. Wrap in Bacon. Shroomballz finished, nice creamy Centre. Time to enjoy. Back To The Smokin Monkey Cook Book
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