This is a different type of pork than we are used to discussing.
This folks, is a pork belly. About 15 pounds of Berkshire hog side meat. It is too big for me to process whole, so I cut it into three pieces.
For piece number one I followed the Maple Cured Bacon recipe from Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn. The recipe calls for curing the pork in a mixture of kosher salt, maple syrup, maple sugar, and pink salt. Pink salt isn't that fancy Hawaiian stuff that a certain no-no food critic has protested. This pink salt is 93.75% salt and 6.25% nitrate, and is used for curing and preserving meat. The "pink" comes from dye that is added to avoid it's accidental use as a table salt. This stuff can be harmful in large quantities.
The Charcuterie Maple Cured Bacon in shown on the lower level of the next picture. Above it is another "Maple" Cured Bacon I made using a commercial mix. The bacon was smoked over maple wood to a temperature of 150 degrees.
After smoking the bacon was cooled then sliced. Vacuum sealed and frozen, it will be long gone before it goes bad.
Upon pan frying there was no comparison between the two Maple Cured Bacons. The scratch made, real-maple, Maple Cured Bacon was worth the extra cost and effort. It may be the best bacon I have ever eaten. Even better than my previous attempt at makin' bacon.
Coming soon, piece number three of that Berkshire belly.
4 years ago