It’s been two weeks since I last ate bacon.
I don’t know about you, but I can’t live without bacon. It’s in everything I make, basically, and lends that flavor that can only be created from a smoky little morsel of pig.
Thing is, on Whole30, bacon is largely non-compliant. Almost every pack has sugar added to it, and sugar is strictly forbidden for the first 30 days of the program. Sure, there are brands that don’t have added sugar, and if you walk into a Whole Foods, you could even find the Whole30 label on the suitable stuff. But it’s seemingly a smaller portion than even one of the Costco bulk packages, and it’s twice the price of the single pack found at the grocery store.
So, what’s a bacon’ lovin’ girl to do? Get to makin’ her own dern bacon!
Strolling past the meats at Costco, my eyes spied this package of meat slabs that looked an awful lot like bacon, just a bit less artificial pink. It was called pork belly and it was the raw form of the tender, often fatty deliciousness I love eating in sweet brussels sprouts dishes at my favorite restaurants. I’d not made the connection before.
I looked it up and making bacon from these one-pound strips of meat sitting right in front of me looked pretty simple. I was missing the smoker, though, but that was easily fixed by adding liquid smoke. Into the cart went the belly soon to get in my belly.
Lots of salt, some liquid smoke, a bit of seasoning, and zero sugar and that was it. It meaning time to let it sit in my refrigerator, flipping it every day for 3-7 days. I can’t remember the recipe, I can’t find it online.
I’ll tell you, though: Every day I stared at that package thinking today could be enough, right?
I dreaded that I’d do an awful job. It’d come out tasting like a salt lick, or worse, it would come out being flavorless. What if it tasted fully of smoke. Something awful. I’d be defeated and never want to try my hand again (because I must be the best at everything immediately or I’m a failure and it’s the end of the world—particularly if I’m hungry).
Nope. PURE DELICIOUSESS. I sang. I danced. I hummed as I ate.
And now I can’t wait to play with the brine flavoring. Not sure I’ll ever purchase packaged bacon again. Besides, the few days the meat has to cure can act as a buffer to my probably unhealthy addiction.