Well this is a first for me, baby bacon.  I have never had veal bacon or heard of it, but I will say it turned out really delicious.  So a little while ago I bought 3 veal breast that got mixed up with 3 veal shoulders, you can read all about it with one of my older posts.  But I am down to my last veal breast which is fairly large.  I wanted to make bacon out of half of it.  The other half I made Veal pastrami which I will post shortly.  Both take a similar path to begin with which involves curing the meat.  It is a really easy process but just takes days to get to your final product.  To make this veal bacon, start to finish, will take you about a week or so.   So if you are in hurry, lets begin.

1 whole veal breast trimmed slightly of the excess fat

1 cup of salt

1/2 cup of sugar

2 tsp of pink curing salt

1 tbsp of mustard seeds

1 tbsp of coriander seeds

1 tbsp of juniper berries

4 garlic cloves

1 shallot

1 bay leaf

Water to cover completely 

To make the cure,

In a pot add salt, sugar, coriander, mustard, garlic, juniper, shallot, bay leaf, and 4 cups of water. Bring to a boil and then simmer until all the salt and sugar has been dissolved, roughly 3-5 minutes.  Then turn off the heat and let it either cool to room temperature or add 2 cups of ice to speed up the process. Once the water is close to room temperature you can add your pink salt to the water.  Then place your veal breast in a container that is large enough to hold the veal breast and be completely cover with the water or brine mixture.  Pour the brine over the veal and let it cure for 3 days.  You can flip the veal over once a day to insure even curing.  You can cure it up to 5 days if you want but the veal breast is fairly thin so I did mine for 3 days.  Then take the veal breast out of the cure and wash off completely in cold water (Here is where I cut mine in half and left half for my pastrami).  Place the veal breast on a rack (think cookie or cake rack).  Take a sheet pan and place a piece of parchment paper down on top of the sheet pan.  Then place the rack on top of the sheet pan.  The parchment paper will catch any excess water that drips down from the veal breast.  Place the uncovered rack in the refrigerator for at least 48 hours to dry the meat out. The rack also insures that the bottom of the meat will dry out as well.  

Smoking the Veal Bacon

After the 48 hours are over, pull the meat out of the refrigerator.  Then either in a stove top smoker or outside smoker.  I used a stove top smoker with a combination of hickory, mesquite, and apple wood chips.  Smoke your veal breast (bacon) until the internal temperature reaches 150 degrees.  Then cool completely.  The next day you are ready to slice thin and fry up your veal bacon (baby bacon).

 


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