Makin’ bacon


Still processing that dang pork! I took one of the pork bellies and cured it using a bacon recipe from Charcuterie by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn. Per the recipe, I rubbed a blend of kosher salt, maple syrup, brown sugar, and pink salt (nitrates) on the slabs o’meat then put them in the fridge for 7 days, flipping them every other day. Many people don’t like nitrates but if they’re used properly, the nitrates become nitrites, which aren’t harmful. And it’s insurance against the perils of botulism, so I thought I’d use it this time around. Would love to hear from other people who make their own bacon and don’t use nitrates. Anway, then I made a small fire with wet hickory chips and a lump of charcoal. It’s smoking away right as we speak. Next step is to cut off the skin. Notice that it’s not terribly thick, that’s because it’s from Little Girl, the more dainty of our piggers.
I’ll be remembering her tomorrow at breakfast. Thanks piggie.

7 responses to “Makin’ bacon

  1. How’s Billy doing with those Nitrates? When I made that Sicilian Special he forced me to dig through the garbage to find the wrapper so I could prove to him that there were no Nitrates in the sausage I used. Not that I minded :- )

  2. Novella Carpenter

    bill and his damn food allergies! no complaints so far, and i don’t think i told him so shhhhh.

  3. So novella, what do you do with that big slab of fat in the picture, after it’s cured? Can it still be used for cooking?

  4. Novella Carpenter

    dude; that’s BACON. there’s some meat on it. i cut the skin off and we’ve been cutting off slices and eating it for breakfast. the backfat (bacon is belly) is the pure fat with the skin (from the back). that i’m making into lardo (cured fat) and you can use it for making salami, sausage, whatever you want to do with pure yummy white fat.

  5. Oh my goodness I want to make bacon! You’re inspiring me! (Off to call the pig farmer…)

  6. I used this recipe: http://query.nytimes.com/gst/fullpage.html?res=9D07E6DC153EF93AA35752C1A9639C8B63, which I’m sure is close to the one you used.
    The process has been detailed by someone else here: http://www.ethicurean.com/2007/03/09/making-bacon/.
    I’ve used this recipe 2 or 3 times and have had no negative results, though I do keep my sliced bacon in the freezer since it has no nitrates and a girl can only eat so much bacon in a week.

  7. Novella Carpenter

    i used nitrates–called pink salt–so it’ll last quite a while. but it’s in small enough quantities it becomes nitrites pretty fast. i used a small amount of nitrates for the salami, coppa and the lardo, too. it’s what people use. even in europe, but they can it saltpeter.

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