BACON, HOUSE CURED
For a sweet cure
- 1/4 cup maple syrup, or other
- 2 tablespoons strong coffee, bourbon, or apple cider
- zest of one lemon
- zest of one orange
- For a savory cure
- 2 garlic cloves, pasted
- 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, crushed
- 2 teaspoons fresh thyme
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed, toasted
- 1 teaspoon coriander seed, toasted
- 2 teaspoons juniper berries, dried
Place the pork belly in a large bag. Add the salt and the cure additions you are using. Through the bag, rub the cure into and all over the pork belly. Squeeze our all the air from the back and seal. Place in the refrigerator for 7 days, turning over each day. Some liquid will gather in the bag.
On 8th day, thoroughly rinse off the meat. Pat dry with paper towels. Place onto cooking rack over baking sheet to air-dry in the refrigerator uncovered for 8-24 hours.
Roast the pork belly in a 225°F oven until the meat reaches an internal temperature of 150 °F; about 90 minutes. Chill the bacon well uncovered in the refrigerator, then cover or slice into desired thickness slices.
To store, wrap slices in parchment then in foil and place into the refrigerator up to 3 weeks or freezer up to 3 months.
Chef Note: for bacon bits, use the pieces that do not slice into perfect slices. Cube into 1/4 inch cubes and use for soups, sauces, or crisp and use for garnish on salads and vegetables. Use in Chef Bob’s
1 cup cubed raw bacon
- 1/4 cup gin
- 1 cup stock (or cream)
Render fat out of bacon bits over medium heat; remove all but 2 tablespoons fat. Add gin and cook a little then add the stock and reduce by about 1/3-1/2. Serve as sauce for pork loin and hardy greens like chard, kale, and collards. Good as bacon component of classic Carbonara too.