And it looks like real bacon! *beams like a proud parent*
After letting the pork bellies sit in the cure for 7 days, I took them out of the fridge yesterday and rinsed them off:
Everybody, this is seriously delicious stuff. The garlic comes through pretty strong, which is certainly not a problem for me. Love it! I do kind of wish, since we ended up curing the bacon in two separate bags, that I'd done one savory and one sweet, but when it comes down to it, I am not disappointed at all with the savory version.
Anyone who knows me or has read this blog in the past should not be surprised at the first dish I chose to feature the bacon, since it combines bacon with two of my other favorite foods:
That's right: bacon, brussels sprouts, and beans. If you're following along, here's the recipe!
Bacon, Brussels Sprouts, and Beans
Serves two as a main course, more as a side
1 lb fresh brussels sprouts
1 can cannellini or navy beans, drained
2-4 slices of bacon (I cut mine thick; how much you use is really up to you)
Salt and pepper
Vinegar (red wine, champagne, balsamic, apple cider--whatever you've got!)
- Trim the ends off of the brussels sprouts and slice them in half, top to bottom (if they're especially large, maybe slice into thirds).
- Cut your bacon into 1-inch pieces.
- Heat a heavy pan over medium heat; when it's hot, add the bacon. Cook until it's as crispy as you like it, then remove from the pan, leaving the grease in the pan.
- Add the brussels sprouts to the hot, bacon-greasy pan. Let them sit for a couple minutes to brown on one side, then give them a stir. Let them cook, stirring occasionally, until they are tender. (Depending on how much bacon grease you had, you may need to add a little olive oil to keep things loose.)
- While the brussels sprouts cook, drain the can of beans (and rinse if you like).
- After the brussels sprouts are tender, add the beans to the pan. Stir, cooking for just a couple minutes, until the beans are warmed through. Remove from heat.
- Add salt and pepper to taste, as well as a splash of vinegar.
- If serving two as a main course, plate the brussels sprouts and beans, then divide the bacon between the two bowls. If serving as a side, stir the bacon pieces into the sprouts and beans.