I should be prepping myself for LinkedIn headshots right now, but no! I must write a confession of love for bacon.
And how making it at home, if you have some patience to wait for the right time, is easy like Sunday morning. And how playing with a lengthy, girthty piece of meat and getting just the right flavor out of it is fun as hell.
Yeah, it’s meant to sound fuckin’ dirty. It’s bacon, and who doesn’t get a little excited when talking about bacon!?
Hey, lust is just love branded a little differently, after all.
But seriously, homemade batch two of bacon is complete. I winged the ingredients and truth be told, it seems pretty hard to screw the slab up.
From my last batch, I learned curing for a longer period of time lends to more salt absorption. First batch was the first bacon I had tasted in two weeks and usually I’m a daily bacon kinda gal, so the fact my tongue was |thisclose| to being numb after eating it didn’t matter shit because it was bacon.
This batch, I wanted to tone that down a bit. By a bit, I mean a lot. I also wanted to add some sweetness in there. That’s the tricky part. Whole30 says no added sugars, but they allow fruit juice as a sweetener. What fruit juice lends itself well to pork? Pineapple! I had sliced a whole large fruit earlier in the week and there was juice enough to use that. I thought about the flavoring I’d usually associate with the combination of pineapple and pork and it lead to this recipe, which yielded pretty “standard” bacon (which, by the way, translates to deliciousness).
I might want to play more to get stronger notes of the smoked paprika and onion flavoring into the cooked product, but this was pretty tasty.
If you care to try: pick up a 1-pound strip of sliced pork belly and have at this.
- 1 pound pork belly
- 4 T fresh pineapple juice
- 2 T salt
- 3 tsp hickory liquid smoke
- 1 tsp garlic powder
- 1 tsp onion powder
- 1/2 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
- 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
- Mix the dry ingredients together in a bowl.
- Rub the dry ingredients all over the slab of meat, making sure to love on all its surface area. If any dry rub remains, place it in the plastic baggie you’ll use to brine your bacon.
- Place the rubbed meat in the baggie. Pour in the liquid smoke and juice. Seal the bag and massage the meat to wet it in the spice and juice mixture.
- Set in refrigerator on a flat surface. Let cure for 3 or 4 full days, flipping every day.
- Remove the slab from its baggie and rinse it off (some choose to soak it in water for 30 minutes to remove more salt, but I found just rinsing did the the trick for this brine.
- Freeze the meat slightly to make slicing easier.
- Store in fridge up to a week; or store in freezer (vacuum seal works best) until ready for use.