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Home-Cured Bacon
ruhlman ^ | October 12, 2010 | ruhlman

Posted on 10/16/2010 9:07:52 AM PDT by JoeProBono

—Order five pounds of fresh pork belly from your grocery store, the pork guy at your farmers market, or from a local butcher shop.

—Buy a box of 2-gallon zip-top bags if you don’t have a container big enough to hold the belly.

—Mix the following together in a small bowl:

2 ounces (1/4 cup Morton or Diamond Crystal coarse kosher) salt

2 teaspoons pink curing salt #1 (I use this DQ Cure from Butcher-Packer, $2)

4 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper

4 bay leaves, crumbled

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 cup brown sugar or honey or maple syrup

5 cloves of garlic, smashed with the flat side of a chef’s knife

2 tablespoons juniper berries, lightly crushed (optional)

5 to 10 sprigs fresh thyme (optional)

—Put your belly in the zip-top bag or on a sheet tray or in a plastic container. Rub the salt and spice mixture all over the belly. Close the bag or cover it with plastic wrap, and stick it in the refrigerator for seven days (get your hands in there and give the spices another good rubbing around midway through).

—After seven days, take it out of the fridge, rinse off all the seasonings under cold water and pat it dry.

—Put it on a sheet tray and put it in the oven (put it on a rack on a sheet tray if you have one) and turn the oven on to 200 degrees F. (if you want to preheat the oven, that’s fine, too). Leave it in the oven for 90 minutes (or, if you want to measure the internal temperature, until it reaches 150 degrees F.).

—Let it cool and refrigerate it until you’re ready to cook it. But I know. You won’t be able to wait. So cut off a piece and cook it. Taste it, savor it. Congratulations! It’s bacon!

Notes: If you don’t have five pounds of belly, either guesstimate salt based on the above or, if you have a scale, multiply the weight of the belly in ounces or grams by .025 and that’s how many ounces or grams of salt you should use.

If for any reason you find your bacon to be too salty to eat (it happens, especially if you measure your salt by sight, which I sometimes do), simply blanch the bacon and dump the water before sautéing it.

Pink curing salt means “sodium nitrite,” not Himalayan pink salt. It’s what’s responsible for the bright color and piquant bacony flavor. You don’t have to use it, but your bacon will turn brown/gray when cooked (you’re cooking it well done, after all), and will taste like pleasantly seasoned spare ribs, porky rather than bacony.

If you have a smoker or a grill, you can smoke the bacon (strictly speaking, it needs to have the pink salt in the cure if you’re going to smoke because, in rare instances, botulism bacteria from spores on the garlic could grow; pink salt eliminates this possibility; but I never worry about this, you’re going to cook it again in any case).

You can also, instead of roasting it or smoking, hang it to dry, in the manner of pancetta.

There are plenty of reasons not to cure bacon: fear should not be among them.

Bacon is life itself: embrace it!


TOPICS: Food
KEYWORDS: bacon
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To: tubebender

51 posted on 10/16/2010 4:12:42 PM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Visualize)
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To: JoeProBono
"—Order five pounds of fresh pork belly from your grocery store, the pork guy at your farmers market, or from a local butcher shop."

Five pounds? Only five pounds????? We go through that in 2 weeks. Yes, I have bacon flowing through my veins and I'm proud of it!

BTW, juniper berries make a fine addition to any meat marinade. I so seldom see them in a recipe.

Last night I wrapped a deer tenderloin in 6 slices of extra-thick cut, peppered bacon and threw it on the grill for a while. Holy cow deer, was it fine dining!

52 posted on 10/16/2010 4:12:48 PM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies. Plan it.)
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To: JoeProBono

What’s with the Bra???????


53 posted on 10/16/2010 4:16:38 PM PDT by tubebender (Life is short so drink the good wine first...)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

Grilled Bacon Wrapped Deer Tenderloin: 1 lb bacon 1 deer tenderloin, sliced 1 bottle Worchestershire sauce 1 T garlic 1 T lemon pepper Marinate sliced tenderloin in Worchestershire sauce, garlic, lemon pepper for 4 hours or even overnight. Remove slices from marinade, wrap with 1/2 a slice of bacon and grill over hot coals until done, 8-10 minutes per side. Serve with a green salad and warm buttered rolls.


54 posted on 10/16/2010 4:17:11 PM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Visualize)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

I have turtle burgers on the menu for the next time we cook with the kids and grands.


55 posted on 10/16/2010 4:26:11 PM PDT by rightly_dividing
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To: tubebender

Grandsons are working on taking over Big Bacon!


56 posted on 10/16/2010 4:27:58 PM PDT by SouthTexas (WE are the Wave - Vote Nov 2)
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To: rightly_dividing

only with scrambled with Turtle eggs!!!


57 posted on 10/16/2010 4:32:00 PM PDT by tubebender (Life is short so drink the good wine first...)
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To: JoeProBono; Bacon Man; Hap

Joe,

The fact that Baconman has not been pinged is a disgrace!

;<)


58 posted on 10/16/2010 6:22:07 PM PDT by Eaker (Pablo is very wily)
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To: Squantos

Hey buddy!

How you doin’?


59 posted on 10/16/2010 6:23:21 PM PDT by Eaker (Pablo is very wily)
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To: Darksheare; TheMom

Thanks for the ping Darks!

TheMom?


60 posted on 10/16/2010 7:15:57 PM PDT by Eaker (Pablo is very wily)
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To: Eaker

Happy camper so far....just got two weeks off for dove hunting an working around the house so back to work Monday to rest......you doing Ok ?


61 posted on 10/16/2010 8:13:03 PM PDT by Squantos (Be polite. Be professional. But have a plan to kill everyone you meet)
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To: tubebender
"What’s with the Bra???????"

Photobucket

62 posted on 10/16/2010 9:43:29 PM PDT by IYellAtMyTV (Workday Forecast--Increasing pressure towards afternoon. Rum likely by evening.)
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To: Eaker; TheMom

EEp, that’s who I missed.


63 posted on 10/17/2010 6:56:48 AM PDT by Darksheare (I shook hands with Sheryl Crow and all I got was Typhus and a single sheet of toilet paper.)
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To: IYellAtMyTV

MMmmmmmm Beggin treats


64 posted on 10/17/2010 7:46:07 AM PDT by tubebender (Life is short so drink the good wine first...)
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To: JoeProBono
A friend of ours cooks those small pieces of tenderloin wrapped in bacon -- he prepares them at the high school tailgating we do on home game Fridays.

When I process my deer, I leave the tenderloins and backstraps whole, or sometimes cut into thick steaks. I wrap the whole thing in a spiral of bacon pieces staked end-to-end until it is fully covered and sear it on the grill and then lower the coals for about the 5-7 minutes on a side (I treat the roll as 4 sides).

Now, I'm hungry!

65 posted on 10/17/2010 8:59:07 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies. Plan it.)
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To: JustaDumbBlonde

66 posted on 10/17/2010 9:05:22 AM PDT by JoeProBono (A closed mouth gathers no feet - Visualize)
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Bookmark


67 posted on 10/17/2010 9:25:30 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies. Plan it.)
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To: JoeProBono

Yep, like that. ;)


68 posted on 10/17/2010 9:45:50 AM PDT by JustaDumbBlonde (Don't wish doom on your enemies. Plan it.)
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To: Squantos

Busy. I haven’t had two days in a week off but once in months. Better than the alternative though!


69 posted on 10/17/2010 9:45:56 AM PDT by Eaker (Pablo is very wily)
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To: JoeProBono
There are dangers ahead:

demotivational posters - CAUTION

70 posted on 10/17/2010 1:34:35 PM PDT by Darksheare (I shook hands with Sheryl Crow and all I got was Typhus and a single sheet of toilet paper.)
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To: Eaker
Thanks for the ping! Much appreciated!

I heard a great recipe in this vein the other day: Venison bacon hamburger patties. 3/4 ground venison, 1/4 ground bacon. Must try this.

71 posted on 10/18/2010 1:39:21 PM PDT by Bacon Man (Bacon cures hangovers)
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