I don't know why I have never tried this until this year. It is so easy and so good. Making your own bacon. It takes about a week and a couple hours to smoke it. You can season it with a variety of spices and smoke it with different types of woods to vary the flavor but it is all good.
I recently purchased the book Charcuterie The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing
which is all about curing and smoking meats. It had the recipe for bacon in it so I had to try it. We picked up a pork belly at our local Whole Foods and the curing salt at Savory South End Spice shop. When I got home I mixed up the cure, added some of my rub and coated the pork belly. I then put it in a ziplock bag for a week of curing in the fridge. Every other day I flipped it to make sure each side was getting cured evenly.
|Pink salt and pork belly.|
The recipe I used for the cure is as follows:
1 pound kosher salt
8 ounces of sugar
2 ounces of pink salt (curing salt which has nitrate in it)
This makes a lot of cure. I keep it in a mason jar and use it as needed and add other flavors when I put it on the pork belly. I added about 2 tablespoons of my rub to the first batch of bacon. For the second batch I added my rub and some pepper infused honey which gave it a hint of sweetness and spice.
|Adding the cure.|
|Spiced all over.|
After a week of curing I removed the pork belly from the bag, rinsed it off and patted it dry. I sliced a couple pieces off to fry them up and try them un-smoked. They were good. I smoked the rest of the belly in a combination of pecan and apple wood at 200° until the pork belly reached an internal temperature of 150°.
|Ready to sample.|
After smoking it I sliced a couple pieces and fried them up to try them. It was much better. The difference between un-smoked and smoked bacon is amazing. The smoking process seems to bring out the saltiness of the cure and the flavors of the rub that I put on the meat. It intensifies it and makes it really good.
|Smoking the belly.|
|Smoked and ready to slice.|
|Looks so good.|
|Ready to eat.|
The second batch of bacon I made I put half in the freezer to keep. I use wax paper to keep the slices separated which makes them easier to pull out for cooking. The smoked bacon should keep about a month in the fridge and up to four months in the freezer but I wouldn't know as none of it lasts that long in our house.
|Packed for the freezer.|
I did a batch of homemade bacon this weekend as well. Went with a wet cure on one and a dry cure on the other. I think I got too much salt in the dry cure and it pulled out too much moisture. But the wet cure? Mmmmmmmmmmmmmmm!ReplyDelete
This sounds like a really good book to have in my library. Will definitely have to check this one out on the AmazonReplyDelete