Today I’m going to walk you through the way I made some Side bacon at home.
Anyway you slice it (see what I did there??) it’s a bit of a long process. But, … like many things in life, it’s a labour of love and well worth it in the end.
Here we go.
Head out to your local butcher and buy a slab of boneless pork Belly, about 1 Kg. (2.5 Lbs.) You can find it either Rind-on or off. The rind is the skin of the Hog and is unappealingly chewy unless it’s cooked to a very crispy texture. When left on the pork belly and made into bacon, it provides a really crispy “crunch” mouthfeel.
For mine, I bought it “Rind-on” but I removed it when I got home. I did this because I wanted to make Pork rind crisps AKA Chicharron. I’ll write about that in the near future, stay tuned 🙂
Before I started the curing process, I wanted to add a nice smokey flavour to my Pork belly without cooking it so, I set up my cold smoke generator from A-MAZE-N products and filled it with enough Pecan (my FAVOURITE) pellets from Traeger to smoke for a good 2 hours, and lit the fuse.
I say “lit the fuse” meaning, I got out my handy torch and blasted the top layer of pellets until they were on fire, let them burn for 5 minutes then, blew out the flames.
With the fuse lit and the pellets smoking nicely, I placed my smoke generator in the bottom of my bbq, than replaced the grill and added my beautiful Pork belly then, closed the lid and let the smoke perform its magic.
2 hours later, I pulled this smokey, beautiful, Pork belly off the grill and started the curing process.
The box comes with 3 packages of cure, more than enough to do a whole Boston butt but, today I’m making bacon so, I liberally coated my Pork belly all over, set it in a covered glass dish and placed it in the fridge. As you can see, I removed the skin before I started the rub.
** VERY IMPORTANT NOTE**
Do NOT use a metal pan for curing, the salt will leach a metallic taste into your finished product.
Every day for 14 days, I turned the belly over and replaced it back in the fridge. You will find the cure pulls a lot of moisture out of the belly … not to worry … all’s good.
After 14 days, I pulled it out of the fridge and rinsed it thoroughly in cold water then, I put it back in a CLEAN glass dish, covered it with fresh water and stuck it back into the fridge. You MUST do this in order pull the salt out of the meat. Do this every day for 5 days.
In the end, you’ll be rewarded with this gorgeous piece of freshly cured, beautifully smoked side bacon you made all by yourself.
With a REALLY sharp knife, go ahead and slice it up. Just so you know, … it’s very difficult to slice it thinly so, don’t stress … just go ahead and cut it into thick slices. When you get to the end, and you can’t get another slice out of what’s left without cutting yourself … just cut it up into little chunks, cubes, whatever.
I fried my little leftover bits and was going to use them in a Ceasar salad for dinner but … they didn’t last that long … between me and my beautiful Pooches, we devoured them in minutes.
I hope you’ll try this for yourselves and please, leave me a comment to let me know how you made out …
That’s it for today Carnivores 🙂 🙂
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