Monday, January 26, 2015

Homemade Bacon


This is probably the most emotionally invested I've ever been making food. Jess got me a "Bacon" issue of Food Network Magazine in March 2014 (with a Homemade Bacon recipe by Michael Symon) and It took this long for me to work up the nerve to cure and smoke my own bacon. I would have been crushed if it didn't work out and ruined my perception of bacon.
It turns out even a fool can't mess this up because:
a) I am a fool
and,
b) the bacon was easily the best bacon I have ever eaten
My good friend described it as "Goldilocks" bacon... it was just right.
There actually isn't too much work involved in making bacon. You pretty much just get things together and wait for up to 10 days before you can finally reap the benefits of your labours.

Ingredients:

  • 5 lbs pork belly (skin on or off, I cut the skin off because it was too creepy to look at and made me feel like Hannibal Lector for having it in the apartment)
  • 1/4 cup sea salt   
  • 1 tsp pink curing salt mixed with a small amount of cold water (also known as Prague Powder #1, check the amount required for the amount of meat you have)
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup honey or maple syrup
  • 2 tbsp red pepper flakes
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin

























Directions:

  1. Remove the skin if desired.
  2. Rinse the pork belly and pat dry.
  3. Cut the pork belly to fit in a couple Ziploc bags (I cut mine into 4).
  4. Mix the rub ingredients in a bowl and coat the pork belly in the bags.
  5. Refrigerate for 7-10 days flipping once a day.
  6. Remove from the bag and rinse thoroughly then pat dry.
  7. Refrigerate on a wire rack (uncovered) for a couple more days.
  8. Smoke or bake in the oven at 200 F until the internal temperature reaches 150 F (I tried both and preferred the smoked bacon, I used pecan wood-chips).
  9. Refrigerate until firm then slice and cook.
  10. You can apparently store this for a week in the fridge or a couple months in the freezer but it will disappear quickly.
 


This really was perfectly seasoned bacon. It had a great balance of sweetness, heat, and salt. I found that it is best cooked in the oven at 350 F to caramelize some of the sugars in it and render some fat out without burning the bacon. I tried to cut it evenly but ended up with some thick ends that I diced up and fried to top salads. I will be making this again...and again...and again




1 comment:

  1. Terrific looking bacon! I have made bacon a few times and it looks like you have done well! I prefer it over the store bought.

    A trick to help cutting it evenly is to put it in the freezer for two hours before you slice it. It firms it up and makes it easier to cut. The thinner slices you get will be easier to fry without burning.

    Great Post!

    The Old Fat Guy

    ReplyDelete