A FEW HOMEMADE BACON RECIPES YOU CAN ENJOY:
2 lb. pork belly,
2 tbsp. real salt;
1 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper;
1 tsp. dried rosemary;
1 tsp. dried thyme;
1 tsp. fennel seed;
2 bay leaves;
1 garlic clove, minced;
1 tbsp. raw honey (optional);
Rinse the pork belly and pat it dry.
Combine all the seasonings in a bowl, except for the honey (if using).
Rub all the seasoning over the pork. Place the pork in a big re-usable plastic bag with the leftover spices and the honey, if using, and shake well.
Refrigerate the pork for one week, flipping the bag every day or so.
After 7 days, remove the bacon from the bag, rinse it thoroughly, and pat it dry.
Preheat your oven to 200F.
Place the bacon in a baking pan and roast until the meat reaches 150 F., about 2 hours.
Transfer the bacon to your cutting board and slice off the skin. Let the bacon cool down to room temperature, then wrap it in butcher paper and refrigerate.
When you’re ready for a delicious treat, slice the meat to whatever thickness you like, and cook it the same way as you would any other bacon.
Bourbon & Cider Bacon:
one piece uncut bacon (jowl cut or belly cut)
~ 3 cups apple cider
~ 1/4 cup bourbon (we used Maker’s Mark)
~ 20 peppercorns
~2 bay leaves
The ingredients in this dish are variable, and depend on the size of belly piece you get. I would recommend something that’s at least a pound, and fairly thick.
Place the bacon in a dutch oven or roasting pan, then pour in enough apple cider to almost cover the bacon, then add a few splashes of bourbon. I used a ratio of around 1/10 bourbon, 9/10 apple cider – it’s not an exact science. Sprinkle in some peppercorns and add a couple bay leaves. Again, the amount varies.
Cover tightly (use a couple layers of parchment paper and then cover with foil if you don’t have a heavy lid for your dish) then roast in the oven at 350 degrees for four hours. Take out the dish, uncover, and let cool in the liquid until it reaches room temperature, about an hour. Once it’s cool, put it in a ziploc bag and refrigerate overnight so that it’ll firm up. The bacon will keep for a month in the fridge.
Smoked Maple Bacon with REAL SALT,
Time. 2 hours prep, seven days of curing, 2 hours of smoking.
Makes. About 25 thick slices
1 pound of pork belly
2 teaspoons Real Salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground black pepper
1 tablespoon coconut crystals *OR SKIP THIS*
3 tablespoons DARK AMISH maple syrup *OR SKIP THIS for just regular bacon*
1/4 cup distilled water
1 pound of pork belly
2 teaspoons Real Salt
2 tablespoons Sesame Seeds
2 tablespoons coconut vinegar
3 tablespoons minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced red chili pepper
2 tablespoons raw honey
1 tablespoon coconut aminos
1 tablespoon minced ginger root
1 tablespoon fennel seeds
1 tablespoon ground clove
1 tablespoon ground cinnamon
1 tablespoon ground star of anise
1 teaspoon Sriracha or other hot sauce(to taste-may omit
2 tablespoons distilled water
Optional. For your next batch you can adjust the quantities of maple syrup or black pepper, and if you wish you can add fresh garlic or dried garlic, citrus zest, herbs such as thyme, bay leaf powder, celery seed, chili pepper, fennel, or coriander. Don't use dried onion, it can smell too sulfury.
1) If the skin is still on, remove it and use it to make cracklins. It is sometimes hard to tell if it is still there. You should be able to make a cut in fat with your thumbnail. Your thumbnail will only make a dent in skin. Removing the skin can be tricky. Sometimes you can grip a corner and with a knife peel it back by running the knife between the skin and fat. Sometimes you just have to shave it off with a sharp knife. Put the skin in the freezer if you want to make cracklins but can't use it right away.
2) Pour everything except the meat into a zipper bag large enough to hold the belly. A 1 gallon bag is fine for a 3 pound slab. Zip the bag and squish everything around until well mixed. Now add the belly, squeeze out the air as much as possible and and squish some more, aggressively rubbing the cure into the belly aggressively coating all sides. Put the bag in a pan to catch leaks and place in the fridge at 34 to 38°F for at least 7 days. If the belly is thicker than 1.5" add another couple of days. More time won't hurt it. The belly will release liquid so every day or two you want to gently massage the bag so the liquid and spices are well distributed, and flip the bag over.
3) Remove the belly from the bag, throw the liquid away, rinse them with cool water removing most of the cure from the surface or it will be too salty. Pat dry. Do not let dry too long as smoke sticks better to wet surfaces. Many folks make the mistake of over drying their belly prior to smoking.
4) If you are using a grill, set up for 2-zone cooking. Smoke over indirect heat at 225°F until the internal temp is 150°F, about 1.5 to 2 hours. You can use any wood you like. Hickory is the tried and true. I'm partial to peach and applewood we can get from the Core's if we are lucky and time things out properly!! You should slice off the ends which may be very dark and more heavily seasoned, and taste them right away. The fat will be a bit stringy, but you'll love it all the same.
5) Now let it cool on a plate in the fridge. Cold bacon is easier to slice. Slice on a slicer if you have one, or use a long thin knife to slice it. Try some thin and some thick slices. You can also cut bacon in cubes to make lardons (AKA- smoked ham pieces), to use them like bacon bits in salads, mashed potatoes, shrimp and grits, baked beans, in sauces or to garnish chops, or roasts.
6) Wrap it tightly with Glad's press-n-seal wrap (cheap vacuum sealer) then place in a freezer bag and be sure to remove the air from the bag. DO NOT USE FOIL because it reacts with the salt and anyway- never let foil touch your food to avoid aluminum heavy metal toxicity. You may refrigerate for up to 2 weeks or freeze for up to 3 months.