Home Cured Whisky Oak Smoked Bacon

Bacon can be so easy to make from home. The key component is curing salt, which is readily available online. Once you try home cured, you’ll find it very hard to go back to shop bought bacon.

This recipe is using a very basic cure – salt, brown sugar and pepper. However, you can experiment with all sorts of herbs, spices and molasses. Juniper berries, maple syrup or herbs such as sage and rosemary are tasty additions. If you prefer a sweeter bacon, add more sugar or molasses.

We’ve used belly of pork to make streaky bacon, but the ingredients also lend themselves to making back bacon using the loin of the pig.

You don’t have to smoke your bacon, but we find using whisky oak dust adds another dimension to the flavour.

Ingredients

  • 2kg pork belly

Cure

  • 5 tablespoons salt
  • 3 tablespoons brown sugar
  • 5g curing salt #1 (Prague powder)
  • 3 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper

Method

Thoroughly mix the cure ingredients together.

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Put the pork belly in a zip lock bag. Rub the cure all over the belly. Close the bag, and place it in the refrigerator for seven days.  Each day flip the bag, and massage the meat, so that the cure liquid is redustributed evenly.

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After seven days, take it out of the fridge, rinse off all of the seasonings under cold water and pat it dry.

Hang the meat somewhere dry and cool (Below 50°F/10°C), out of sunlight and free of odours, for three days. This will allow a pellicle to form on the surface of the meat, thus helping to seal in the moisture and providing a surface to which smoke molicules can cling to (if you wish to smoke your bacon).  If you don’t have a meat hook, pierce a hole at one end and loop some string through. Cover the bacon with muslin if flies are a problem.

If you wish, cold smoke the bacon over whisky oak dust for 8 hours, longer if you prefer a more intense flavour.

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