Skip to comments.Home-Cured Bacon
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 dont 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 chefs 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, thats 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 youre ready to cook it. But I know. You wont be able to wait. So cut off a piece and cook it. Taste it, savor it. Congratulations! Its bacon!
Notes: If you dont 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 thats 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. Its whats responsible for the bright color and piquant bacony flavor. You dont have to use it, but your bacon will turn brown/gray when cooked (youre 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 youre 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, youre 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!
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 ?
EEp, that’s who I missed.
MMmmmmmm Beggin treats
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!
Yep, like that. ;)
Busy. I haven’t had two days in a week off but once in months. Better than the alternative though!
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.
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