Sunday, December 14, 2014
CLOVE & HOOF BERKSHIRE BACON
A recent trip to the newly opened Clove & Hoof procured some Berkshire bacon. We may have been the first customers to actually purchase some of their house cured and smoked bacon. While chatting with Jason the butcher I inquired if they were going to sell bacon. He said; ' let me check' and when he returned he had a dark hunk of 'Burnin Bacon Love' in his hand. This slab had been smoked with a combination of smoking woods with no particular variety in mind. The rind was on. If you have read previous bacon stories you know that I am not a fan of the rind. Smoking with the rind on limits smoke penetration to the meat. The rind is indelible unless you have jaws of steel or you like to swallow gum. To be fair the butcher asked me if I would like it removed. We purchased a couple of pounds and hurried home to try it.
The small slab that we purchased had a very slight suggestion of smoke aroma. The meat to fat ration leaned towards the fat side. You could see the quality of Berkshire in the fat color. It was not chalky white as in super market variety offerings. Our trusty black iron pan was put to use crisping our rashers for the future pleasure to come. The cooked slices were placed on a paper towel to drains any excess bacon love and cool.. Drum roll please, how did it taste?
The bacon crisped up very nicely. This bacon had an almost mild beefy flavor. The Berkshire breed of pig has a flavor of pork that makes you appreciate, crave and savor porky love. The all important balance of sugar and salt was spot on. Ms. Goofy gave the paws up approval. This bacon was not perfect. The rind was on, smoke was faint and it was not the meatiest bacon but the flavor of Berkshire pork trumps all. This was very flavorful bacon. I also believe Clove & Hoofs offering of bacon will evolve as their butcher shop matures. We cannot wait to try some more.
Clove & Hoof