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baconYou can easily make your own bacon at home, and it will be much better than store bacon (but not cheaper). Go to the butcher at the grocery store and ask for a pound of pork belly; if you can’t get pork belly buy what they call “country boneless ribs”, which is actually pork shoulder and will work about the same way as pork belly.

Put the pork, all in one piece, into a ziplock bag. Add a tablespoon of kosher salt (the big coarse salt) and a pinch of “pink salt” (nitrates). Add two big spoonfuls of a sweetener (maple syrup, brown sugar, molasses, honey), one spoonful of flavor (black coffee or apple cider), one big clove of garlic (chopped), and a handful of dried thyme. In a small frying pan, lightly toast a teaspoon of fennel seeds and a teaspoon of coriander seed and then crush them in a mortar with a teaspoon of black peppercorns, and add that mixture to the bag too. Seal the bag, squeezing out the air, and turn the bag over and over, squashing the sauce into the pork with your hands. Leave it in the refrigerator for a week.

When the seven days are over, take the pork out of the bag, and wash off all the sauce. Throw away the bag (or wash it to reuse). Pat the bacon dry, put it on a rack over a plate, and put it back in the fridge to air-dry for one day.

The next day, smoke the bacon on a barbecue grill at a low temperature, about 100 degrees, or if you don’t have a grill, roast it in the oven at 225 for about an hour and a half (the inside should reach 150 degrees on a meat thermometer). Let it cool, and then put it back in the fridge to chill. Now it’s ready to slice and cook the way you would normally cook bacon, in a frying pan.

More about pigs
Pork in Chinese food
Pork in German food

Bibliography and further reading about bacon:

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