Beef and bacon I thought was the perfect marriage … then I heard about bacon made from beef.
This is the most spectacular occurrence for beef lovers in a very long time.
The taste … beefy, more satisfying than its pork counterpart. It is a mix of salty, like pork bacon, and the down home satisfaction of a long cured and smoked brisket, like a fuzzy blanket on the first cool day of fall while watching a football game.
When beef bacon is an accoutrement to a sandwich, the juice is too much to stay between the bun so it rolls down the side of your arm beckoning you to reenact a Hardee’s commercial and lustfully lick it off your arm. You really won’t want to waste any ounce of flavor the bacon provides.
Of course with my curiosity peaked to the highest, I snatched up a 5 pound slab of it from Creekstone Farms and turned my kitchen into a taste lab.
The cut to make beef bacon is the short plate. Situated underneath the short ribs and between the flank and brisket — basically it’s the belly or pastrami cut. It’s beautifully marbled with fat and thick meaty strips similar to brisket. To make this slab of carnivorous delight it takes about 10 hours to transform it to bacon.
First the short plate is brined or wet cured in a solution of water and curing salts with a bit of sugar and spice. No, they wouldn’t give me their recipe. The meat is cured and tumbled for about four hours then hung in a smoker for two-and-a-half hours. The end result is a more meaty version of pork bacon which can withstand various cooking methods rather than just the frying pan.
My favorite way of fixing beef bacon happens to take a little bit of time, but no more than a brisket. Once finished it goes great with a stout beer, or sipping on a glass of rye whiskey.
Braised Beef Bacon
1 slab of beef bacon
2 cups of sorghum
4 cups of brown sugar
1 cup of Belly Up BBQ spice
4 pints stout beer
2 cups of maple syrup
4 sprigs rosemary
8 sprigs of thyme
10 cloves garlic
Pack the slab with sorghum, brown sugar, barbecue spice and allow to cure for two to three days. Preheat oven to 325 degrees. In a heavy bottomed baking pan, add the beer, maple syrup, rosemary, thyme and garlic. Add the bacon and scrape the remaining dry cure into the pan. Cover with foil and braise for six hours. The meat will be a striking deep red very similar to brisket.
Cut and serve. The leftovers are definitely great for snacking or breakfast must.
Where can you get beef bacon?
Whole Foods sells a sliced version but always ask your butcher for the short plate or pastrami cut and try your own recipe. Creekstone Farms provides superior premium and natural black angus beef . The high standard for quality allows them to produce consistently outstanding products.
Belly Up BBQ is a local company which has barbecue down to a science and an art. Craig Adcock has created a tasty line of seasonings not to miss.
Renee Kelly is the owner of Renee Kelly’s Harvest in Johnson County. Her passion lies in changing the food system, one plate at a time. Her inspiration is Mother nature and the many growers in the Kansas City area.