With the price of Bacon going up and up, and the amount that I seem to consume, it only seemed natural that I would try and make my own Bacon…but, how do it, I didn’t have a clue! And now, thanks to the internet, I researched, watched You Tubes and put my big girl panties on…and took the challenge!!

This process is so darn easy…it’s the PATIENCE of waiting for it to “cure”, that is the difficult part!! So, here we go! And, BTW, I made a Maple Flavored Bacon

INGREDIENTS: (this is for a 3 lb slab of uncured Pork Belly)

  • 3 lb uncured Pork Belly
  • 5 TBS Kosher Salt
  • 5 TBS cracked pepper
  • 3 TBS Dark Brown Sugar
  • 1/2 c Maple Syrup (not necessary if you don’t want Maple flavored)
  • 3/4c Distilled water…don’t ask me why but that’s what the recipe called for!
  • 1/2 tsp Morton Quick Salt (this is the “curing salt” and available in grocery stores where the Pink Prague #1 is so hard to find unless you go on line)

First thing you need to do is buy some boneless pork belly! I went to Costco and picked this 9.84 pound slab at $3.69 a pound and came home and cut it into thirds.  The magic number of 3lbs/slab seemed to be what most recipes called for…so that’s what i did!

IMG_3216Next you “score” the fatty part and I vacu-sealed the other 2 and put them in the freezer.

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Then gather your ingredients:

Kosher salt, Brown sugar, Distilled Water, Pepper, Morton Tender Quick (the curing salt), and Maple Syrup

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Mix it all together, then pour on the slab, cover it in a container like this or a gallon zip lock bag, and put it in your fridge for the next 9 days…turning it over every morning!!

When you have “patiently” waited the 9 days, take the slab of pork belly out of the curing fluids and wash gently, taking off any excess remnants of the curing process, dry with a paper towel then put on a wire rack or a plate and leave UNCOVERED, in the fridge for 24 hours…(yup, more dang waiting…this is when I had to triple my ADD medications!!)

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And NOW, DAY 10…FINALLY, it is time to smoke this baby!! I used a Traeger Smoker (thanks to my neighbor) and set the temp to “smoke…stuck a thermometer into it and ONCE AGAIN, “patiently” waited for it to register at 150 degrees, internally, but I must admit, it was not that bad to wait because the aroma “tantalized” every golfer that tee’d up their ball (I live on a tee box)…and it took about 2 hours!

At long last, I removed the long adorned “Smoked Gift from the Pork Gods” and brought it to my kitchen where, freaking ONCE AGAIN (lord Jesus, Mary & Joseph), I had to put it in the fridge to harden it so that cutting it would be easier!!!

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I sliced the Bacon and then put it on a large 1″ cookie sheet, lined with aluminum foil into a COLD oven…then set the temp at 400 degrees and in a matter of minutes (about 10-15 to be exact) I took it out and no, it was NOT crispy NOR should it be, but some little burnt areas around the edges…

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And proceeded to make the MOST delicious BLT Sandwich on lightly toasted white bread, lettuce and tomatoes….and remember those golfers??? well they came back and wanted their very own BLT sandwiches!! So, that 3 lb slab was gone in a nano-second and the two in the freezer…they are defrosting as we speak!!  SOOOOO worth the “waiting”!!

 

 

 

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