Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Home-Cured Bacon

Nothing like the smell of bacon cooking. and nothing smells and tastes better than your own home cured bacon.
It's really very easy to make. Below is a very reliable and fool proof method of curing bacon at home with out any nitrates or nitrites.
You can very this recipe as you like and add a little bourbon to the mix or add some curry powder. the main thing to remember is you can't really very the salt and sugar as they are the ingredients that are doing all of the curing. You will be amazed at the taste of your home cured bacon.
You need to find a source in your area for fresh pork bellies. Any Asian market with a butcher shop will carry pork bellies as they are pretty much a staple in most Asian kitchens. For this recipe I picked up a 2 1/2lb pork belly for $2.99lb. Can't buy processed supermarket bacon at that price.


2 1/2lb slab of skin on pork belly
2 1/2 tbsp kosher salt
1 1/2 Tbsp sugar
1 Tbsp Crushed black peppercorns
1 tsp fennel powder
2 bay leaves
1 Tsp garlic powder

1. Trim Pork Belly to square off it's edges. Rinse the pork and pat it dry.

2. Measure out salt, sugar, crushed black peppercorns, fennel powder and garlic in a bowl. Crush dried bay leaves with your hands into small bits.

3. Rub seasonings all over pork. transfer pork and any excess spices to a 1-gallon resealable plastic bag and seal. shaking the bag to distribute the seasonings.

Refrigerate for 7 days on a sheet tray. Flipping the bag over every other day. Some brine will accumulate in the bag as the salt draws moisture from the pork.

4. After 7 days, the bacon should feel firm to the touch. remove bacon from bag and thoroughly wash off the spices under cold running water. Pat dry with paper towels.

5. Pre-soak a good mess o-hickory chips in water for 20 minutes and then heat your grill to 200 degrees. (note. you can also do this part in your oven. just don't add the hickory chips.)

6. Roast on indirect heat until meat is lightly browned and the internal temperature is 150 degrees. about 2 hours.

7. transfer bacon to a cutting board. With a long thin knife, slice off the skin. I usually leave this on as it gives a nice crackling when cooked. But for traditional bacon slice it off. Let the bacon cool to room temperature. Pat bacon dry. wrap in plastic and refrigerate until completely chilled. Bacon will keep just like store bought for 10 days in your refrigerator or up to 3 months in the freezer.

This will be one of the best bacon you have ever eaten and cheaper as well.




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