Bill Gillespie from the bbq competition team “The Smokin’ Hoggz” has written a comprehensive guide to cooking pork from the whole hog. Bill started this book as a bacon cookbook and expanded it to include more than 100 recipes to include every part of the pig. This is reflected in the title “The Smoking Bacon & Hog Cookbook. He had me at bacon. The good people at “Page Street Publishing Co.’ have sent me a book for review. This should be a lot of fun because some of you may know; I love bacon. Let’s take a look and try a couple of recipes.
I opened this book and immediately hid in the back room. I hid because these images of food porn throughout this book made me think of guilty food pleasures. I jest, but Wow! What a feast for the eyes. I leafed through the book before even reading any text. After wiping the steam off of my glasses, I then browsed the seven chapters. The introduction gives a brief run down on types of swine and different bbq equipment to cook such. The next chapter, my favorite was “The Belly of the Beast”. Bacon, bacon, bacon, how to cure and smoke with recipes to boot gave me inspiration. The next chapters covered ribs, chops, loins and every other part of the hog imaginable. There was even a chapter titled “Going Whole Hog” on how to cook a whole pig; With each cut of pork many easy recipes were offered.
The recipes included with each cut of pork are easy to follow with great instructions.We are going to share two recipes of ‘Maple-Smoked Pork Belly’ and ‘Loaded Potato Potato salad with Bacon”. The maple bacon takes a week commitment of time but is worth every iota of effort. Ms. Goofy, my wife and I loved the potato salad. Let’s get cooking.
Maple-Smoked Pork Belly
Maple-Smoked Pork Belly
½ cup kosher salt
½ cup brown sugar
½ cup maple syrup
1 tsp pink salt
For The Smoking Process
3-4 pd pork belly
¼ cup maple syrup
¼ maple sugar
2 tbsp Smokin’ Hoggz All Purpose Rub (recipe is included in book)
3-4 chunks sugar maple wood.
I have condensed the original recipe from the book. The book is more comprehensive and detailed. I took the cure and rubbed a 4 pound rind-off belly all over. It was covered and put in a refrigerator for 7 days turning over every day. After 6 days the belly was rinsed of the cure and returned to the refrigerator overnight. The smoker fueled by charcoal and spiked with chunks of sugar maple wood ran at appox. 225 degrees for 3 hours until the internal temperature of the belly hit 150 degrees. The bacon was removed and cooled.
Have you ever smoked your own bacon? This can be a heavenly experience. The smells are intoxicating and oh so seductive. This recipe was the perfect mix of sweet maple, smoke, salt and pork. With just a short time commitment you too can have some of the best bacon ever. This should go fantastic in our potato salad.
Loaded-Potato Potato Salad with Bacon
3 tbsp white vinegar
1/3 cup chopped red onion
¾ cup chopped celery
½ cup chopped bread and butter pickles
½ cup chopped flat-leaf parsley
½ cup mayonnaise
1 tsp Dijon mustard
½ tsp ground black pepper
2 lb russet potatoes , peeled , cut in ½ pieces, cooked and chilled
3 large hard boiled eggs, peeled and dices
1 lb bacon chopped
1 cup shredded chear cheese.
Combine all ingredients and chill before serving. Wasn’t that easy!!!!
‘The Smoking Bacon & Hog Cookbook’ has been a great inspiration. With its beautiful illustrations and easy to follow recipes, it will give hours of food entertainment. We only shared two recipes with you but there are so many more that we are going to try. Bill Gillespie is respected in the bbq community and has written a wonderful all-inclusive book about cooking everything from the hog. As I said, Bill had me at bacon and has the recipes to back it up. The Maple Smoked Pork Belly’ is a recipe that I will be repeating. The Loaded-Potato Salad with Bacon was a loaded potato lover’s dream. We loved it. We used our maple bacon for a delicious salad that would be a hit at any gathering. I cannot wait to try some more recipes.
The Smoking Bacon & Hog Cookdbook
‘The Whole Pig & Nothing But The Pig BBQ Recipes'
By Bill Gillespie
With Tim O’Keefe