DIY bacon

DIY bacon

Pork belly, not an easy thing to find around this neighbourhood. you can either go to a real butcher, and there aren’t that many out there that would sell this, so do your research before wasting your time. you can also get it online, but that isnt as exciting. You wanna know what’s even more exciting? Starting your DIY bacon project right now. 

DIY Bacon

DIY Bacon

Making bacon is a 2 step process, first you have to “wet” cure it, and then you have to slow cook it (smoke it) to dry it even further and develop more flavor. I didn’t smoke mine. I will try that later, I dont have a smoker and smoking in my oven… not ready for that yet!

1 lb of pork belly (You can easily scale up this recipe)

Dry Cure:

12g sea salt
9g brown sugar
3g pink curing salt
0.5g black pepper corns.
0.5g coriander seeds, toasted, ground.
2 cloves crushed.
3 juniper berries, crushed.

Herbs I like:

8 marjoram springs

or

2 tbsp minced rosemary
2 tbsp minced parsley

So how much pink salt is good enough… which isn’t a bad question since pink salt needs to be handled with caution. Well, I’ve based my percentages on a recipe that appears on the Modernist Cuisine Kitchen Manual, page 107.

For every 100g of meat: use 0.6g of pink salt.
For every 100g of meat: use 2.5g of salt.

One more note: Insta Cure #1 and D.Q. Curing pink salt are the same thing, same concentration.
Insta Cure #2 contains nitrates and is ONLY used for dry curing over long periods of time.

DIY Bacon

Ok, pink curing salt is a blend of about 94% table salt and 6% sodium nitrite which although not a healthy thing to eat at high concentrations, the concentration in this brine is so low that is virtually harmless and what it does is inhibiting the growth of bacteria (botulism) which is the purpose of curing to begin with.
DIY Bacon

now mix all the ingredients and rub away. I used a food processor to mix everything up. then I threw the pork belly in a ziplock bag and with my hand rub the paste all over it. minimal mess.

DIY Bacon

this pork belly piece is ready to be sealed. I partially submerged the bag in a pot filled with cold water to get most of the air out of the bag and I zipped the bag. it will be 7 days before this is cured. every day, turn the bag over, to ensure even curing.

DIY Bacon

7 days and after many turns this is what I ended up with. By the way, I didn’t use the ziplock bag, instead I wrapped the belly in cheesecloth with seem to have worked amazingly well. This thing smells so good. Now we have to clean it up and get it ready for the oven.

DIY Bacon

Here it is after cleanup, really good color and scent. I should have removed the rind… or not…
DIY Bacon

Here it is after 3 hours at 200f in the oven, a bit toasty on the outside, very nice and pink in the inside, ready.

DIY Bacon

after vacuum sealing:

DIY Bacon

done.

DIY Bacon

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6 comments

  1. Nice! Pork belly is very easy to buy around here. I would be interested to make my own pancetta, but that means dry curing and that is hard to do. This looks great though, thanks for sharing!

    1. Yeah, dry curing is a a trickier business. I’ve been toying with the idea of making my own curing “chamber”, modifying a wine cooler to control temp and humidity. Would love to make cured hams like serrano. Thanks for checking in Stefan!

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