Homemade Bacon

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I thought that there was no better way to introduce you to the idea and concept of  post apocalyptic cookery than through bacon. I grew up in ranch and cattle country, eating grass fed beef all my life. But if I were trapped on a desert island and was forced to choose one type of meat to eat, it would be bacon. No hesitation, I love beef, but bacon is by far my first choice. In the modern day mindset of “fat is evil” bacon has kind of taken a back seat to flavourless lean chicken breast. (I will refrain from a rant here.) Regardless, a good piece of bacon should be half fat and half meat, it should not melt into oblivion in the pan where all you are left with is a toothpick sized piece of bacon-flavoured cardboard. Bacon should be comfort food, period. Surprisingly enough it is easy to make in the luxury of your very own refrigerator, all you need is pork belly, salt, sugar, and pink salt (find it here.) I did not invent this all on my own, I had help from a great book called Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn. With that being said, let’s get started.

What you need for basic cured non-smoked bacon:

  • 1.5-2.5 kg (3-5 pounds) pork belly, skin on (you may have to ask your butcher special for this)
  • 30g kosher salt (I used iodized coarse salt)
  • 15g white sugar
  • 5g pink salt 
  • 125g dark brown sugar
  • large ziploc bag

How it’s done:

  • Trim the pork belly up to square it.
  • Mix the dry ingredients for the cure.
  • Rub in the cure evenly to all parts of the pork belly.
  • Place the pork belly into the ziploc bag and seal it up, removing any excess air.
  • Place sealed bag in your refrigerator for seven days, turning every day to evenly distribute juices & cure.
  • After seven days the pork should be slightly firm but not squishy to the touch (if not, leave it in for another day.)
  • Remove from the bag and rinse the pork with fresh water. Discard the curing liquid.
  • Heat your oven to 200F (100C) and slowly roast the bacon until it reaches an internal temperature of 150F (65C).
  • Cut off the skin while the fat is still hot.
  • TRY A PIECE NOW! The sweet mellow bacon flavour will blow you away.
  • Let cool to room temperature and then slice and fry to your heart’s content.
  • Refrigerate and use at will.

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One Response to Homemade Bacon

  1. Thanks for your brilliant recipe!! This one looks perfect as the stuff we get masquerading as bacon in Australia is pumped full of water and cooks down to a miserable, shrivelled scrap. Now, armed with your version we can enjoy real bacon as early as next week…no more pathetic wisps!

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