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Thursday, February 2, 2012

How to make maple brown sugar cured bacon

Tuesday night I prepared the pork belly that we got as part of our pig share using a maple brown sugar cure as described in The Urban Farmer Handbook.

It went as such:

1. Rinse and pat dry pork belly
2. Mix equal parts coarse kosher salt, dark brown sugar and maple syrup (in this case I had 8.3 pounds of pork belly so I used 1/2 cup of each ingredient)
3. Rub mix all over pork belly
4. Place into gallon Ziploc bags
5. Store in fridge for 7 days
6. Flip bags every other day to distribute cure

While I hate the idea of using plastic bags, I hate trichinosis even more. So, in spite of my apprehension, given the amount of belly I had to work with, I used 3 one-gallon bags. After the cure is complete, I'll be smoking the bacon. More posts to come to finish the job...

In the meantime, here are some pictures of the process to whet your appetite:

The Pork Belly:


The Cure:


The Meat Side:


The Skin Side:


The Finished "Product" - three gallon Ziploc bags of curing belly:


Have you ever made your own bacon from pork belly?

9 comments:

Sustainable Eats said...

Did you find a smoker? You can come borrow mine. ;p

susanb said...

I have made bacon with a recipe similar to yours. However, due to the length of time in the smoker (I use a cold smoker which keeps it around 120 degrees) I use a curing salt to prevent botulism. I have smoked mine for 8-9 hours and it is heavenly. Foodie friends of mine ask if they can have some for Christmas - the ultimate compliment!

FernWise said...

Bounces up and down in seat. Oooo!

Now, how do you smoke it? At a cool temperature? With what type of wood?

Squeeling happily.

Crunchy Chicken said...

I'm planning on using our gas grill and a smoker box (we already have one) and Applewood (need to buy some). So, it will be a hot smoke at 200 degrees until it gets to the internal temperature of 150 degrees (you can also use an oven and liquid smoke).

I haven't fully watched this yet, but here's a YouTube video showing how it works:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=droqmzBbBsE

I just hope it doesn't rain next week.

Robj98168 said...

I have never been able to keep it lit.

emmer said...

be careful with that hot smoke. check often. it is easy to "cook" it too much...kinda like trying to defrost something in a microwave oven and cooking the edges while the middle is still frozen.

the bacon will be yummy! shame pigs aren't longer--there'd be more bacon. :-)

Rachel said...

I've cured bacon many times. I use curing salt as well though. I'm actually forgoing the smoker today and just going with an oven roast (no liquid smoke). My husband, bless his heart, wants control of the smoker and always over-smokes meat to where the smoke is all you can taste. I want to taste the maple this time.

Laura said...

Right on with your bad ass bacon self. :D
I have not cured bacon but it was one of the recipes that I learned about when I took Sea Breeze Farm's butchery by hand class. (They told us that we could buy cuts of meat from them for curing. They would cut them accordingly and such, fyi.) I second the tread lightly comment about using the gas grill as a smoker. The super tasty salmon that my boyfriend caught and smoked on our gas grill usually gets cooked around the edges. It can't really be helped. Cold smoked is very different from hot smoked, so it helps to go in expecting something new and different.
I have been thinking of doing some kind of meat cure. Can't go wrong with bacon, eh?

Able-Bodied Girl said...

well, we're starting our cure now.... would love to hear how your smoking went!

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