February 16, 2008

Let's Talk Bacon (and How to Get Free Dinner at Stove)- Stove Part II

Sydney Meers of Stove gets his pork belly, loins and ham primarily from Gryffon’s Aerie, a farm in Gordonsville, Virginia. Tamworth pigs are his preference for several reasons. The pig roams free on the 40 acre farm and eat grass, grain, the flora of blooming flowers, wild berries and the organic corn the farmer throws for them. They like peanuts and pecans. They are not injected with any hormones. The animal is clean- Gryffon’s doesn’t have any fertilized land. It’s the epitome of sustainable agriculture. The pig is lean and narrow with less outer fat than other pigs. They are slaughtered at between 16 months and 2 ½ years old and weigh as much as 1700 pounds at that time.

For the bacon served at Stove, Syd takes pork belly (above) and puts his rub (a secret blend of herbs and spices) on it, smokes it then slow roasts it. It's cold smoked at 100 degrees with a blend of mesquite, hickory and pecan. It's roasted by first putting rough chopped vegetables in a roasting pan and placing the pork on top with water ½ way up the sides (so the vegetables infuse the pork). He covers it in foil in a 300 degree oven for 3 hours, pulling off the foil for the last 30 mins so it browns up and gets crisp. He lets it rest for 1 hour, until it comes to room temperatureAt that point, it is ready for whichever cooking method he wants to use before serving. He slices to it to ¾ inch wide by 4 inches long.

The pork loin on the left is griddled which gives it an unparalelled carmel-y richness, and the one on the right is the same thing but not griddled. It is amazing, so lean and clean tasting- you have to taste it for yourself. So for the best bacon, pork and ham Mother Nature has to offer, grunt on over to Stove. Tell Sydney I sent you there- you will earn points toward a free dinner...yes, you read that right! A weekend trip is in order- and what's not to love? The beaches, museums and historical sites are perfectly located to fit into your schedule as you eat your way through Hampton Roads...and the eggs.


Deborah Dowd said...

This bacon sounds great, and Sydney Meers is a household name here in Newport News. Are you from the HR region? I am trying to link to local food bloggers.

Arties32 said...

Hi Deborah! Yes- I'm from Hampton Roads, but now live in Miami. I travel home at least several times a year. It would be great if you'd link. Don't forget to mention ...and the eggs for points towards a free meal at Stove :) That would be of interest to local folks!

JB said...

I thought we got free points when we sent other folks to Stove - I am confused - but glad I haven't written the wrong info on my blog. Either way it is worth the trip!