Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Coming soon: homemade bacon

There's this event taking place in the home-cook blogosphere right now called Charcutapalooza. Each month of 2011, participating bloggers will attempt a different home charcuterie challenge.

February's challenge: the salt cure.

I opted to follow Michael Ruhlman's savory bacon recipe, and my friend Clay (an old friend and recent SF transplant) helped me out. What better way for two former cooking buddies to be reunited?

Mise en place

We put together the dry cure of kosher salt, sugar, and curing salt, then combined it with crushed garlic, black peppercorns, and bay leaves.

Weighing the sugar

Clay got to use my mortar and pestle, which makes everything more fun:

Crushing the spices

Dry cure + spices

The kitchen smelled truly amazing at this point, but with those ingredients, what's not to like?

Into this mixture we pressed a 3lb pork belly (cut into two pieces, since I only had 1-gallon plastic bags):

Rubbing the cure on the pork belly

Then bagged them up and stuck them in the fridge to cure!

Ready to cure!

Seriously--it doesn't get much simpler than this. Maybe 30 minutes of work, tops? (And I've got a bunch of the basic dry cure leftover; what should I try next?)

The pork belly's been curing for five days now, and we're just about ready to unveil our creation. The plan: roast it, cube it, fry it up, and serve it as part of my birthday smorgasbord on Saturday. Asked one eager friend, "Can we dip it in chocolate?"

Stay tuned...


Annapet said...

Staying tuned! Let us know what you did with your bacon!

I want to do another round of pancetta and take photos.

statii radio said...

This definitely reminded me of my childhood years when I would visit my grandparents and they used to make this bacon every single time we passed by. It was like a tradition. They would make some smoked bacon, too, but this one was my favorite. I guess I’ll try it just to remember how my childhood tasted like.