When I bought “Charcuterie: The Craft of Salting, Smoking, and Curing” about a year ago, one of the first thing I wanted to try was making bacon. I wanted to try making it myself, because I never thought it could be made without smoking, and I wanted to experiment with different seasonings. And, it was a great excuse to have a constant supply of bacon in the fridge.
I bought a small piece of pork belly for the experiment, about 300gr, so that failure would not lead me to waste good belly. I rubbed it in a cure of kosher salt, honey, crushed dried chilies and cumin. I like the combination of pork and cumin, and I thought that cumin’s smokey taste would compensate not being able to smoke the bacon. Covered with the rub, the belly went for a week in a zip-lock bag in the fridge. It was later rinsed and dried, and this is what it looked like:I did not use Pink Salt for curing (you should read about it if you consider curing meat) so my bacon did not get the typical pink hue. The final step was then oven-curing the bacon at 90°C until it reached internal temperature of 65°C.
Unfortunately, it turned out that I used too much salt, as the finished bacon was too salty to eat. I managed to use it in other dishes (like the spinach spaghetti) without adding additional salt – but it was not edible on its own. I also could not determine whether the seasoning was good or not, because it was completely shadowed by salt.
As I wrote before, I’ll post a recipe when I get it right