Recipe for Peameal Bacon

Do you know that peameal bacon can be made at home? Avoid the high cost and low quality of prepackaged peameal bacon and make your own with this easy recipe. Not only is it simple, but the end result has incredible flavor.

Cured and sliced raw peameal bacon on a cutting board.

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You probably really like peameal bacon if you know what it is. It's unparalleled in its adaptability and there's nothing else like it. It can be smoked whole for a delicious roast, sliced and used in sandwiches, or served griddled for breakfast or brunch.

In Ontario, Canada, peameal bacon is considered a provincial treasure. However, it is possible to make your own peameal bacon, and it will be far superior in taste and quality to anything you can buy.

Peameal Bacon: What Does It Mean?

Peameal bacon, though related to back bacon, is not actually bacon. It's pork loin, specifically cured pork loin. The legend goes that in the 1850s, a Toronto meat packer named William Davies rolled a pork loin in ground dried yellow peas to help it keep longer after being cured and trimmed.

Peameal bacon is an art form; it is cured in a brine of Prague Powder #1, salt, and sugar, and then rolled in cornmeal (since dried and ground yellow peas are no longer used). It's simple to whip up, and once you've had it made at home, you'll never want it any other way. Don't call it back bacon because it's smoked and not rolled in cornmeal like traditional back bacon.

Ingredients

  • Pork loin, boneless - this recipe is meant for one 5-pound pork loin roast. Reduce the fat content, but leave a thin cap of fat, about a quarter of an inch thick.
  • When it comes to water, it's best to use distilled or boiled water that has been refrigerated to remove contaminants and preserve pure flavors.
  • You can't make a brine, or wet cure, without salt, and kosher salt is the best option. Personally, I prefer kosher salt, but regular table salt can be substituted by using only half as much.
  • Sucrose - regular white granulated sugar will do the trick The meat isn't going to have a candy flavor, so relax.
  • Black peppercorns, in their whole, unbroken form
  • Dried bay leaves, whole
  • Garlic - Use fresh garlic cloves and smash them until they're minced.
  • Do not know what this is, Prague Powder No. 1 See below
  • Pea meal (ground yellow peas) was commonly used to coat the outside of cornmeal - rolled Peameal bacon. Today, cornmeal is commonly used.
peameal bacon on a blue plate with toast and eggs.

Prague Powder, Explanation No. 1

Some time ago, before I had access to Prague Powder #1, I attempted to make corned beef on my own. It was a horrible catastrophe. Then I got some curing lessons from a pro and haven't looked back. Prague Powder #1 is the key ingredient in any effective remedy. Tinted cure, or pink curing salt, is a 6-salt, sugar, and nitrate 25% Sodium Nitrite and 93% Sodium Salt containing 75% sodium

It is Prague Powder #1 that allows cured meats to retain their flavor and crunch for so long. Antibacterial and color- and flavor-preserving, this curing agent is a must-have.

Prague Powder No. 1 is NOT common salt. DO NOT substitute this for pink Himalayan salt or any other kind of salt. Labeling and child-proof packaging are necessary to ensure the safe use of this product.

Peameal bacon sandwich with onions.

Scroll down to the recipe box for a complete list of ingredients and preparation details.

  1. Boneless pork loin should have all but a quarter inch of fat removed before cooking.
  2. Combine the kosher salt, sugar, peppercorns, garlic, bay leaves, and Prague Powder #1 in a mixing bowl and stir until the ingredients are dissolved in the distilled water.
  3. Refrigerate the pork loin in the brine for five days, turning it over and stirring it once a day.
  4. Take out the pork, and pour the brine down the drain. Put the pork loin into the clean water and refrigerate for two hours. Two hours later, discard the soaking liquid and replace it with fresh water before resuming the process in the fridge. So that the pork doesn't end up tasting too salty, you desalinate it.
  5. Remove excess moisture from the pork, then roll it in the cornmeal, pressing gently to ensure an even coating.
  6. Put together a meal and savor it.

Peameal Bacon Preparation Methods

There are numerous ways to cook peameal bacon. What about these ideas?

  • Grill it over low heat after slicing it into 1/4-inch thick slices.
  • Pan-fry slices that are 14 inch thick.
  • Whole peameal bacon can be roasted in the oven at 350 degrees Fahrenheit until it reaches a temperature of 145 degrees Fahrenheit, rested for 5 minutes, and then served.
  • The entire thing can be thrown onto the rotisserie.
  • Similarly, peameal bacon can be smoked.
A top-down shot of raw sliced peameal bacon on a cutting board.

Tips for the Server

Need some ideas for pairings with your peameal bacon? Both as a standalone dish and a component in others, its usefulness as a food is undeniable. Some of my favorite uses for cooked peameal bacon are as follows:

  • Cooked in a skillet and served with standard breakfast fare Have a Bloody Mary for brunch, and don't forget the recipe!
  • Put down that Egg McMuffin and try this: substitute peameal for the ham.
  • Sandwiches piled high with fried or grilled slices and fried onions. One of the best kept secrets is that fried onions and peameal bacon is a match made in heaven.
  • Served roasted with au gratin potatoes and your choice of side dishes.
  • Peameal bacon that has been smoked to perfection is an art form.

Storage

Peameal bacon can be stored in the refrigerator for up to two months if it is cured and vacuum sealed. It's convenient to freeze individual servings and thaw one out to enjoy for breakfast or brunch later. Pieces can be frozen and re-heated as needed. Peameal bacon can be frozen for up to three months if it is first tightly wrapped in plastic wrap and then placed in a plastic freezer bag. Vacuum sealing something can extend its shelf life.

Procedure Following a Clearly Delineated Step-by-Step Format

Raw pork loin in the brine in the fridge. Back pork marinated in salt Cured peameal bacon cut into chunks and ready for rolling in cornmeal. Pork loin that has been brined for five days Cured peameal bacon next to a plate of cornmeal The loin should be carved into chunks and rolled in cornmeal. Cornmeal coated peameal bacon ready for slicing. Cornmeal coating, please. Sliced peameal bacon on a cutting board. Prepare by slicing, cooking, and serving.
Cured and sliced raw peameal bacon on a cutting board.
Print Pin
Peameal bacon, a local specialty in Ontario, Canada, is widely available. It's far superior to buy premade peameal bacon and make it yourself. It's cheaper to make at home than to buy already prepared, has more flavor, and is much less salty.
Keyword Key Ingredients: cornmeal, curing, peameal, peameal bacon, pork, pork loin, and Prague powder #1
  • 5 pounds Pork loin that hasn't been trimmed of fat or bones
  • 1 gallon purified water Alternatively, they could be boiled and then cooled.
  • 3/4 cup table salt or one-third as much common salt
  • 3/4 cup refined white sugar
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, whole
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 3 cloves garlic smashed
  • 2 teaspoons Primo Praha Pód
  • 2 cups cornmeal
  • If the boneless pork loin is not already trimmed, remove all but about 1/4 inch of fat from it.
  • Dissolve Prague Powder #1 by stirring it into a mixture of distilled water, kosher salt, sugar, peppercorns, garlic, bay leaves, and other spices.
  • Put the pork loin in the brine and let it marinate in the fridge for 5 days, stirring it over once a day.
  • Take out the pork and pour the brine down the drain. Put the pork loin into the clean water and refrigerate for 2 hours. Repeat the soaking process in the refrigerator for another 2 hours after draining the first batch of water. Since you're dehydrating the pork, it won't have an overwhelming salt flavor.
  • After drying, roll the pork in the cornmeal and lightly press to ensure even coating.
Because this cook has no way of knowing how much brine the pork will absorb, there are no nutritional values provided.

A Word About Food Labels

The nutritional information listed here has been calculated using data from the recipe's listed ingredients and is provided as a courtesy. Simply put, it's an estimate. Not all recipes on this site have been independently verified for their dietary accuracy.

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Prepared by Jenn the Chef
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