It’s a question for the ages: If Canadian bacon is made in Brooklyn, can it still be called Canadian bacon? Lonnie Dyner, the executive chef at Cornelius in Prospect Heights, says yes.
“My philosophy is: anything that I can do in-house, I do,” he explains. “It’s fresher and tastier that way. Plus, it’s fun for me to do. I enjoy it.”
Dyner, who has worked at Henry’s and Brasserie 8 1/2, makes his own sausage, gravlax, and, now, Canadian bacon, which he uses for the Eggs Benedict during brunch service. As for the philosophical — or is it simply semantic? — question du jour: Can it be called Canadian bacon?
“I think I can get away with it.” And why not.
Lonnie Dyner’s Canadian Bacon
1 gallon water
1 1/2 cups salt
1 cup sugar
10 garlic cloves
10 juniper berries
15 black pepper corns
1 bunch fresh thyme
1 bunch fresh sage
8 tsp curing salt (sodium nitrite)
1 pork loin (about 4 lbs), trimmed
2 1/2 tbsp smoked paprika
In a large pot, combine all the ingredients and bring them to a boil. Remove the mixture from heat, and let it cool to room temperature. Add the pork, and weight it down with a plate. After two days, remove the pork from the brine. Rinse it under cold water, and pat it dry. Place it back in the fridge, covered, for 24 hours.
The next day, rub the loin in smoked paprika. In an oven preheated to 450 degrees F, bake it for about 20 min or until it reaches an internal temperature of 155 degrees F. Allow the Canadian bacon to rest for 30 minutes before serving.