We’ve been making bacon non-stop since we opened as we really enjoy the process, love making a truly local pork product, and have had different iterations on a bacon sandwich for our entire life here at Breadbaron. We’ve had success with holiday bacon pre-orders around Christmas-time – we decided then, why not open up pre-orders for bacon for anytime? This way we can reduce or eliminate the times when customers show up and we don’t have enough bacon to spare for retail. Order form below, try it out!
As we move into another fall, a couple of things are on our plate in addition to our normal operations. We’re working hard on harvest pickling – it has been a fun couple of weeks so far of purchasing, processing and canning. We’re refining our recipes and getting a little more inventive this year with our pickles and preserves. We’re working on building a pantry shelf in our stand to help house all of the new jars. On the garden front, it’s a bit of an inverse time of year for that kind of thing, but we’re talking about garlic! This project should bear some wonderful fruit next year – we’re working on growing a large patch of garlic that we’re going to sell at market and use in our prep. Thanks a million to Bill Hatten for donating copious land, labour, and love!
We’re baking cakes and donating half of the proceeds to House of Friendship Kitchener, our neighbours on Charles Street. We’re taking pre-orders at our stand, or by e-mail. You choose your type of cake – spiced apple, carrot raisin, or chocolate chip - and your pick-up date, and we’ll bake cakes for you at $8 tax incl. each, $4 of which goes to HOF. We’re thinking of it as sort of a pre-ordered holiday bake sale. We’l be selling cakes this way into February so that we can donate then, so think of this option into the new year as well if you’re interested!
Curing, smoking and preserving meats pre-dates refrigeration technology. We owe so many delicacies to this technique – salt cod, prosciutto, salami, bacon, and jerky. Beef jerky has its roots as a ration, dried out so that as little as possible moisture remains. Why? To minimize or eliminate the chance for bacterial growth. To make meat food-safe at room temperature.We make our own beef jerky and the process is fun and simple.
Ingredients - A high quality lean cut of beef is required here. You will notice the difference. Normally you look for some fat marbling in a quality piece of beef, however in this case fat is your enemy as it will render out and make the jerky greasy. We use the inside round cut of Ontario beef for our jerky. As a marinade we use a combination of soy sauce, worcestershire, chili powder and brown sugar.
Procedure - Steaks are cut against the grain as the resultant portion of meat is easier to cut and cooks tenderly. Jerky, on the other hand, must be sliced parallel to the fibrous grain that runs through it. When the jerky finishes drying, the cells holding the fibers together lose their volume. If it were cut like a steak, the resultant product can crumble and even fall apart. Once sliced, the beef is placed in the marinade for 6 hours. An alternative method at this step is a dry cure. Once cured, we dry with paper towel and place on a bare sheet tray into our gas oven overnight with only the pilot lit.
Product - The result is a delicious dry snack, with a much lower sodium content than other commercial jerkies, and no additives, preservatives, hormones or antibiotics. We then put out scale and vacuum sealer to work portioning 40g portions. The yield is approximately 20% of the fresh product by weight.
Try this at home! You don’t need a dehydrator, just your home oven set very low (~120F) and propped open to allow moisture to escape, slowly drying the meat without burning. Depending on when you’ll eat it and on your particular tastes, you can try drying it out less or more. Better yet come grab a bag of ours next time you’re in for a sandwich!