I started my mission yesterday. Countdown to homemade, home smoked bacon has begun. I posted the recipe here on this blog under the title recipe, but I am going to give you the condensed account of what has happened so far.
I stated out with 8 pounds of pork belly. I have never worked with pork belly before and it is a little odd working with fat, meat, and skin of an animal that really looks like the fat, meat, and skin of an animal as if it was alive. It did not bug me as much as I thought it might. I am thinking maybe this is the hobby for me. I was also thinking maybe I could go hunting one day. This is not that bad.
So I took my two slabs of meat and put them on a plastic wrapped counter a la Dexter Morgan. (Some of you might get that reference) I let them sit t here while I mixed up the salt, the Pink Salt, brown sugar, and maple syrup.
Before go on I want to explain to you that Nikki and I were worried about using Pink Salt. Pink Salt is poisonous and has to be used with extreme caution. At the same time it has to be used when one is curing meat to prevent botulism and other yucky things. ( http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Curing_salt ) But still, Nikki and I were worried and being very careful to get the exact amount. Plus understand this, when I am ready to cook it will be washed off and there is only a little bit being used.
Now back to the action.
So I have my rub all mixed up and I have the two good-looking slabs just waiting to be rubbed and bagged. So that is what I did. I rubbed my meat really well with my mixture. (No joking sis.) I had to make sure I got enough mixture to cover all of the meat. Next I bagged the slabs in some of the biggest Ziplock bags I have ever seen.
Almost immediately that salt started pulling out the moister of the meat to make its own brine. I have to flip meat every two days for a total of 7 days. This way the bring is sure to be in contact with every part of the meat. After that I will wash off the salts, pat dry, and allow to dry in the fridge for 24 hours before I hot smoke it with some cherry wood and rosemary. Then there will be BACON. Stay tuned for day three when I show you what the brine and the bacon looks like as I flip it.