Oh, you heard me right. Bacon. Made at home.
Brandon Darby was telling me a few shows back on our podcast how he’d made his own bacon from a pig he had on his central Texas homestead and how damn good it was. Well, I came across this article called Cure and simple: How to make your own bacon and charcuterie where Merideth Bethune talks about how she overcame her fear and made some homemade bacon and more. She writes:
Even some of the most adventurous home cooks hesitate to make their own charcuterie — meats processed for preservation in the European tradition. (Bacon, pâté, pancetta, salami, sausages, and prosciutto are all good examples.)
I was no different; before I started learning the craft, thanks in part to a food blogging challenge called Charcutepalooza, I thought charcuterie involved boiling pig heads for hours and hanging moldy salamis in my home.
But it’s not like that, as you’ll see. Go read the whole article because she talks about where to get ingredients and also has a delish sounding green chile sausage.
Recipe by Meredith Bethune, Adapted from Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing
3 pounds slab pork belly
¼ cup kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar
½ teaspoons pink salt (sodium nitrite), optional
3 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
½ teaspoon ground black pepper
½ teaspoon red pepper flakes
¼ teaspoon fresh rosemary, chopped
3 bay leaves, crumbled
1. Combine the sugar and salts in a bowl to make a dry cure. Rub it into all sides of the meat. Combine the herbs and spices in another bowl, and then press them into the pork belly as well.
2. Place the pork belly in a large Ziploc bag, and leave it in the fridge for about seven to 10 days, or until it is convenient to smoke it. Turn it about every other day and rub the salt and seasonings into the flesh.
3. After the time period has passed, rinse the dry cure off of the pork belly and pat it dry with paper towels. Smoke it until it reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees.
4. Allow the bacon to cool to room temperature, and then wrap it tightly in plastic wrap. It will keep in the fridge for up to three weeks.