How to Cook a Juicy Peameal Bacon Roast in the Oven

Peameal bacon also known as Canadian bacon, is a delicious and leaner alternative to traditional bacon. It’s made from pork loin that has been cured and rolled in cornmeal, giving it a signature crust. While peameal bacon is often enjoyed in slices cooking a whole peameal bacon roast in the oven results in incredibly moist, tender and flavorful meat that is perfect for a special breakfast or brunch.

In this article, we’ll walk through the simple steps for oven-roasting peameal bacon to crispy-crusted perfection. We’ll also share tips on choosing the right roast, preparing it for cooking, determining doneness, infusing flavor and serving suggestions. With minimal effort, you can have an impressive centerpiece dish that will wow your family or guests!

Benefits of Cooking Peameal Bacon Roast

There are several advantages to cooking a whole peameal bacon roast in the oven rather than frying up slices

  • Requires minimal preparation and easy cooking method – simply season, pop in oven and roast.

  • Results in bacon that is tender and incredibly juicy throughout.

  • Allows you to feed a crowd by cooking one large roast.

  • Has dramatic presentation when brought to the table and sliced.

  • Provides leftovers that can be used in other recipes.

  • Avoids the splattering mess and constant monitoring of frying bacon.

  • Allows the bacon to be infused with extra flavors from glazes or rubs.

Choosing the Right Peameal Bacon Roast

When selecting a peameal bacon roast for cooking, keep the following tips in mind:

  • Choose a roast that is around 2-3 pounds to feed a crowd. Allow approximately 1/4 pound per person.

  • Look for a roast that is evenly shaped for even cooking. Avoid ones with thin or thick ends.

  • Select a roast wrapped in peameal (cornmeal) all around the exterior. This will provide a crispy crust when cooked.

  • Make sure the roast feels firm to the touch and does not have any slimy areas which could indicate spoilage.

  • For best flavor, choose a roast with some marbling visible under the peameal crust.

  • Check the ingredients to ensure the roast only contains pork and maybe some basic curing agents. Avoid roasts with additives.

  • Look for a roast with the skin on for added flavor and moisture during cooking.

Preparing Peameal Bacon Roast for the Oven

Prepping your peameal bacon roast for the oven is simple but there are some key steps:

  • Remove plastic wrap – there is often an inner layer of plastic cling wrap around the roast that should be removed before cooking.

  • Pat dry – use paper towels to dry the exterior of the roast well so it will brown nicely.

  • Score the top – use a sharp knife to cut slits about 1/2 inch deep in a crosshatch pattern across the top of the roast. This helps fat render and flavors absorb.

  • Brush with flavor – maple syrup, brown sugar, honey and mustard are all tasty options for brushing on top of the scored roast.

  • Add seasonings (optional) – complement the flavor brushing by rubbing on spices like garlic powder, thyme, black pepper or chipotle powder.

  • Place on a rack in a pan – position the roast on a rack in a shallow baking pan to allow air circulation.

  • Insert meat thermometer – use an instant read or probe thermometer to monitor the internal temperature.

Once your roast is prepped, it’s ready to pop in the hot oven!

How to Cook Peameal Bacon Roast

Cooking your peameal bacon roast perfectly is simple by following these guidelines:

  • Preheat oven to 375°F – this moderately high temperature will give you a browned exterior.

  • Cook covered for 1 hour – keeping the roast covered for the first hour will allow it to cook through gently without drying out.

  • Uncover and continue cooking – removing the foil or lid during the second half of cooking allows the exterior to brown.

  • Brush with glaze – after uncovering, brush your roast again with glaze to help form a crusty exterior.

  • Cook to internal temp of 145°F – use your meat thermometer to determine when the peameal bacon reaches the ideal internal temperature for just a hint of pink.

  • Tent and rest 5-10 minutes – as with any roast, resting after cooking allows juices to redistribute through the meat.

The total roasting time will vary from 1 1/2 to 2 hours depending on the size of your roast. Monitor it closely near the end to avoid overcooking.

Determining Doneness of Peameal Bacon

Since peameal bacon is a cured pork product, you can safely eat it at lower temperatures than fresh pork. Follow these techniques to test for doneness:

  • Use a reliable meat thermometer to check the internal temp, as noted above. This is the most accurate method.

  • The center should appear ever so slightly pink but not red when sliced.

  • The juices should run mostly clear with just a tinge of pink when poked with a knife tip.

  • The exterior crust should be deeply browned and crispy.

  • The meat should feel firm yet still moist when pressed with a finger.

If your roast is underdone, simply return it to the oven for 5-10 additional minutes until reaching the proper internal temperature and doneness.

Infusing Flavor Into Peameal Bacon Roast

One of the bonuses of cooking a whole peameal bacon roast is having the opportunity to infuse it with extra flavor. Here are some easy ways to add taste:

  • Brush with glazes – maple syrup, brown sugar, honey, jams, chutneys and mustards all make delicious sweet and savory glazes. Brush on a couple times when cooking uncovered.

  • Coat with spices and herbs – rub on dried spices like garlic powder, onion powder, thyme, oregano or savory before roasting.

  • Insert flavor – place fresh herbs, garlic cloves or citrus slices into the crosshatch slits before cooking.

  • Baste with liquid – periodically spoon pan juices back over the top of the roast while it cooks to keep it moist and impart flavor.

Get creative with glaze and spice combinations! The peameal bacon will take on those flavors to give you a personalized roast.

Serving and Leftover Ideas for Peameal Bacon

A whole oven-roasted peameal bacon makes for an incredibly impressive dish when brought to the table and sliced. Here are some serving suggestions:

  • Slice and serve like a ham with breakfast or brunch side dishes.

  • Pile slices on a platter and allow people to add to their plate.

  • Chop or dice to add to omelets, breakfast tacos or hash.

  • Slice and use in sandwiches, on pizza or in pasta dishes.

Leftover peameal bacon keeps well in the fridge for 5-7 days. Besides eating it cold, try:

  • Warmed up and served on top of a salad.

  • Fried up with eggs for breakfast.

  • Added to roasted vegetables.

  • Used in peameal bacon mac and cheese.

  • Diced up for pasta carbonara.

With minimal effort, you can have the star of your meal by oven-roasting peameal bacon. We hope these tips result in the perfect roast for your next gathering! Let us know if you have any other serving suggestions for this Canadian classic.

Frequently Asked Questions About Oven-Roasted Peameal Bacon

What is the difference between peameal bacon and Canadian bacon?

Peameal bacon and Canadian bacon are the same product – both are made from cured and rolled boneless pork loin. The name peameal comes from the traditional practice of rolling the cured loin in ground dried peas to coat it, which has been replaced by cornmeal in modern times. Canadian bacon is the more common name for this bacon variety in the United States.

Can you cook peameal bacon from frozen?

It’s best not to cook frozen peameal bacon roast directly in the oven as this may result in uneven cooking. Thaw it first by placing the roast in the refrigerator for 24-36 hours before roasting. If in a hurry, submerge the frozen roast in cold water for 2-3 hours until thawed enough to prep and cook. Add about 30 minutes to the total roast time if starting from fully frozen.

What is the white stuff on peameal bacon?

The white speckles and powdery coating you often see on the exterior of peameal bacon is simply the cornmeal crust. Traditional peameal bacons were rolled in dried ground yellow peas, giving it the signature coating. Today, cornmeal is primarily used instead to give the cured pork loin the iconic crust.

Can you cook peameal bacon roast in a slow cooker?

Yes, a peameal bacon roast can absolutely be cooked to tender perfection in a slow cooker. Place the roast in a slow cooker, add 1 cup broth, onions, garlic, and desired seasonings. Cook on low for 7-8 hours until fork tender. The roast may not get as crispy of an exterior as oven roasting, but will be deliciously moist.

What is the best way to cook a peameal bacon roast?

The best technique for cooking peameal bacon roast is in the oven. Oven-roasting at 375°F results in a tender and juicy interior, while still allowing the exterior cornmeal crust to get crispy and caramelized. Roasting a whole peameal bacon provides the most even and consistent results.

What is the minimum internal temperature for peameal bacon?

As a fully cooked cured meat, peameal bacon can be safely eaten at lower temperatures than fresh pork. The minimum safe internal temperature recommended for peameal bacon is 145°F. Cooking to between 150-160°F will result in a perfect hint of pink interior with crispy exterior.

Can you freeze leftover peameal bacon roast?

Absolutely! Leftover sliced or diced peameal bacon roast freezes very well for future use. Allow the cooked roast to cool completely before freezing in an airtight container or freezer bag. It will keep frozen for 2-3 months. Thaw in the refrigerator before using in other recipes.

What is the best way to reheat leftover peameal bacon?

To warm up leftover oven-roasted peameal bacon, place slices or pieces in a skillet over medium heat. Cook for 2-3 minutes per side, adding a splash of water or broth to steam and prevent drying out. Microwaving is another quick option – heat for 30 seconds at a time just until warmed through. Avoid overcooking which can toughen the meat texture.

What glaze is best for peameal bacon roast?

Maple syrup makes a classic sweet glaze for peameal bacon. For a more savory glaze, try brushing on a mixture of brown sugar, mustard and herbs. And fruit jams, chutneys and honey also pair deliciously. Get creative with your own blends of sweet and savory ingredients to complement the pork flavor. Apply glazes during the uncovered portion of roasting.

What sides go well with peameal bacon roast?

Some delicious side dishes to serve with oven-roasted peameal bacon include scrambled eggs, hash browns, pancakes or waffles, French toast, roasted potatoes, baked beans, fresh fruit and toast or biscuits. Peameal bacon pairs nicely with both sweet and savory classic breakfast and brunch foods.

Peameal Canadian Bacon Roast

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