Home-Cured Bacon [Three Different Flavors!]

Posted September 5, 2015 by Lauren Dibble in HomeMade Goodness, Recipes / 0 Comments

bacon

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home-cured bacon

Curing meat, especially bacon, is the process of preserving foods by the addition of salt, nitrates, nitrites or sugar. In the olden times, only salt and sugar was used. Today, more often than not, store-bought bacon is processed in an industrial factory-setting ad pumped with a curing solution that contains sodium nitrite. Sodium nitrite is known to cause migraines in large quantities and when exposed to high heat and protein, produces nitrosamines.

90% of nitrosamine compounds have been deemed carcinogenic. Not good! Fortunately, curing bacon at home couldn’t be easier and the results are a lot tastier than store-bought!

We got this slab of pork belly with our pig share, and I decided to try out three different types of cures!


Cutting the pork belly into three even parts.

 

Coffee Molasses Bacon
Coffee Molasses

Coffee Molasses

The first wet cure I made was a coffee molasses cure:

Vanilla Bourbon Bacon
Vanilla Bourbon

Vanilla Bourbon

The second cure I made was vanilla bourbon. I had vanilla maple syrup in my pantry, but if you don’t have vanilla syrup, you can always use 1/2 cup of maple syrup and 2-4 Tbsp vanilla extract.

Dry Italian Rub Bacon
Dry Italian Rub

Dry Italian Rub

For my last cure, I decided to go savory over sweet. The dry cures tend to make meat tougher than the wet cures, but I believe bacon is fatty enough that it fries up beautifully without getting leathery.

For all cures, mix them together and massage it into your meat (insert tongue and cheek comment here). I flipped these over multiple times to ensure the cure penetrated well. Leave in the fridge, turning it over once a day, for 7-21 days. The longer you let you cure, the more flavor it imparts.

I know it’s hard to be patient with delicious bacon staring at your from the warm glow of the fridge every day, but once your tastebuds have reached their limit of patience, wash the cure off the bacon, slice and fry it up! You’ve just made specialty, gourmet bacon, at half the cost and much healthier! Because bacon and healthy in the same sentence is a win in my book!

Update: While cooking the coffee molasses bacon, the fat that renders off looks like motor oil, which can be very confusing when you fry up eggs in the grease!

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