Home-Cured Bacon

Home-Cured Bacon

From The Artisan Market by Emma MacDonald

For the most superior bacon, use a pork belly with distinct layers of fat and meat, preferably from a heritage breed. If you can’t find smoked salt, increase the coarse sea salt. Cut the bacon thickly for lardons or thinly for frying for breakfast.

Makes about 1 pound 5 ounces

Preparation Time: About 5 days

1 pound 5 ounces boneless fresh pork belly from your local butcher

4 tablespoons coarse sea salt

1 tablespoon smoked salt

1 tablespoons honey

1 tablespoon light brown sugar

Pat dry the pork belly all over and remove the rind, if you like. Mix together both types of salt, the honey and sugar in a nonmetallic bowl. Tube the mixture over both sides of the pork until it is completely covered. Put the pork in a thick zip lock plastic bag and expel as much air as possible, then seal. Put the bag on a plate and pop up one end so any liquid released from the pork runs away to the side.

Place in refrigerator and leave for 3 days. Each day, pour off any liquid, reseal and return to the refrigerator. After 3 days, rinse the salt off the pork and pat it dry. (To check the flavor, cut off a small piece and fry it; if the bacon is too salty for your taste, soak it for 1 hour in water, then pat dry again.)

Put a rack inside a deep plastic, glass, or ceramic dish. Put the pork on top and lease it in a cool, well-ventilated place for 2 days, covered with a piece of clean cheesecloth. Remove the bacon from the dish, wrap in wax paper and store in the refrigerator until ready to eat. A 5-day cure gives a lightly salted bacon, which will keep for up to 1 month, or it can be frozen for up to 3 months.

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