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