Some of the best memories I have is waking up on a Saturday morning and walking in the kitchen to see my mother cooking breakfast with the smell of bacon in the air. The smoky goodness of bacon is a taste and smell that many love. So let’s try something new and make our own bacon, i have heard that once you go home made you don’t go back to store bought.
Step 1: Get a pork belly or pork side from the butcher, and take off the skin with a sharp knife.
Step 2: Depending on the weight of the pork belly the cure mixture amounts will vary, for the side piece that i got, it was smaller than the recipe so a quick conversion will get the right amounts. For a 2.25kg piece mix together in a bowl;
- 60 ml Maple syrup
- 60 ml brown sugar
- 60 ml sea salt
- 60 ml water
- 15 ml pepper
- 10 ml of Prague powder, or curing salt #1
I had read a few recipes that included espresso powder and thought that might be interesting so I added 30 ml of ground Dominican coffee.
Step 3: Once the mix is done coat and rub the cure on the pork making sure all sides are liberally coated and then vacuum sealed or in a Ziploc bag and put into the fridge for 5-7 days.
Step 4: Every day make sure you flip the piece of pork and massage the pork for a minute or so.
Step 5: When the pork is done curing, pull it out and very thoroughly rinse off all the cure mixture under cold water. Next let this sit uncovered in the fridge for 12 hrs, or have a fan blow directly on the pork for about 4 hours to let the pork form a pellicle. A pellicle is a skin or coating of proteins on the surface of meat, which allow smoke to better adhere the surface of the meat during the smoking process. This coating becomes tacky after about 12 hours.
Step 5: It is now time to smoke the bacon for about 3-4 hours at a temperature of 90C. Toward the end of the smoke, ensure the pork reaches an internal temperature of 66C.
Step 6: Put the pork in the fridge for a couple of hours, of course this step is not necessary but it is so much nicer slicing it when cool and firm.
Step 7: Oh yeah, cook it up!
So there you have it, how to make your own bacon at home. The nice thing is you control what goes into your food and flavor it however you want. We had this bacon on home made burgers and just wow the smokiness was delicious. If you care about great quality food give this recipe a try, you wont regret it!