Growing up, it was a family tradition to go to the Unionville Festival early in the morning to catch the parade (I was a figure skater, so I usually walked in it) and order a Peameal Bacon Sandwich from The Arms, aka, The Unionville Arms Pub & Grill. The peameal was grilled and piled high on a soft Kaiser, similar to how they come at Carousel Bakery at the St. Lawrence Market.
If you’re not sure what peameal bacon is, it’s probably because you live anywhere but Canada. Peameal bacon is definitely a Canadian thing. So, what is peameal bacon? It’s boneless pork loin that’s been cured (brined while still raw), and then rolled in ground yellow cornmeal. It’s different from Canadian bacon (back bacon), which is cured, smoked, and cooked.
Peameal usually comes as a whole loin or sliced. Sliced peameal is great when you only have 2 sandwiches to make, but when you’re making more, roasting a whole loin is the way to go. Roasting creates a crisp crust with a moist centre with little mess.
Roasting a peameal bacon roast is easy – just place the peameal loin on a baking sheet, roast at 350°F until cooked, slice, and serve. To add a little sweetness to the crust, I’m glazing the roast with bourbon and brown sugar.
Peameal Bacon Sandwich Tips:
- Scoring – scoring means to make shallow cuts into the surface of food. You can score the roast in a diamond pattern, or straight lines across the roast. Scoring the meat creates more exposed edges, which get crispy from the dry heat of the oven.
- Peameal bacon on a bun is usually served with any kind of mustard. Sliced tomatoes and cheese go well, too.
- This is a great cottage, neighbourhood garage sale, or camping recipe. To make this recipe on the grill, follow the same instructions as above, except place the loin on a preheated grill over medium heat until internal temperature reaches 160°F.
- Bourbon can be substituted for whiskey, apple juice, orange juice, or water.