With this recipe, you can turn boneless pork loin into maple-flavored Canadian bacon.
- 1 gallon water
- 1½ cups coarse salt
- 8 teaspoons table salt
- 1 cup raw sugar or brown sugar
- 1 cup dark maple syrup
- 2 garlic cloves, peeled and lightly crushed
- 1 bunch fresh sage
- 3 tablespoons dried thyme
- 4 pounds boneless pork loin, excess fat removed
You will also need resealable freezer bags. Adding a couple of vanilla beans to the recipes will give you a smoother flavor. However i recommend that you try the basic recipe first before you start experimenting with different flavors.
- Start by making the brine.In a big stockpot, combine all ingredients except for the pork loin. Bring to a simmer, while stirring to dissolve the salt and sugar. Remove the brine from the heat and refrigerate until it is cold all the way through.
- Now it’s time to deal with the pork loin.Cut the pork into pieces just small enough to fit into gallon sized resealable freezer bags.Place the poker in the freezer bags and pour in the cooled brine. There should be enough brine in each bag to cover the poker.
- Squeeze out as much air as possible from the bags. Place the bags in the fridge and refrigerate for 72 hours.
- Take out the bags. Drain the brine and discard it.
- Rinse the pork and place on a rack over a baking sheet. Put it back into the fridge for another 24 hours or so. The idea is to let the pork air dry.
- Warm the oven to 200 degrees F.
- Take the pork and put it in the oven, still on the rack and with the pan beneath. Stick an oven thermometer into the center of the largest pork piece. Cook until the internal temperature of the pork has reached 150 degrees F.
- Take out of the oven and trim away any remaining excess fat.
- Leave to cool to room temperature.
- If you don’t want to eat all the pork at once, you can wrap it tightly in a double layer of plastic wrap and refrigerate it for up to 10 days. This Canadian bacon will also freeze well if protected by plastic wrap and an outer layer of tin foil.
- If you want a lot of maple syrup flavor, use the darkest maple syrup you can find.
- Dried thyme can be substituted with fresh thyme.
- If you want your bacon to look more pink, use pink salt in the recipe.