Once Upon a Time….there was Bacon
Once upon a time there was a girl who lived in a small cabin in the woods. She created a blog and posted from her iPhone, on a dare, that small blog became the home of The Cabin Goddess, a name she was given and embraced. She wanted said blog to become a foodie blog, she wanted to be like her heroes, Not Quite Niqella, Two Peas & a Pod; (now Two Peas & Their Pod), Cooking for Assholes (which is no longer alive), You Made That, & David Lebovitz to name a few. (David and I actually became friends at the very beginning of his stuff and I now just am one of his many stalkers, he is a very nice guy…… but I digress as usual).
But all she did was post some lame photos from her phone with a recipe. She had a close friend who talked her into getting twitter to help her get through some bad times, her first account she got back in late Spring of 2007, her new account November of 2008. She treated Twitter like her personal chat group, and she met some amazing authors and zombie lovers… and bacon lovers. Her first big post was for Maple Bacon Donuts. She was so excited when her post got 12 hits that day. When she realized she also could talk about her other love, that of reading, and have such a lovely time with food, she move forward and now even after 18 months of barely posting she gets over 150K hits a month, she could end this with a happily ever after, but she isn’t finished with y’all. So, in honor of her move, she is going to give the gift of bacon!
I recently met a man who is appropriately nicknamed, Bacon Santa. The man makes meat that melts in your mouth, and his kink is getting said meat into your mouth. As I type this, he is shipping me some salami and other sundries of the meat-candy variety. He truly is a Bacon Santa. I asked if I could share one of his recipes with my wonderful and patient readers, and he said go for it! Such a giving man, but go figure, he is Bacon Santa after all!
Bacon (smoker not required)
What you need
- clean work surface
- 2-3 lbs (about a kilo) of whole pork belly
- enough salt to coat the the pork belly generously
- 1/2 cup of brown sugar
- 1 lg.stalk of celery (or ten red radishes)
- juicer, food processor, blender, knife and cutting board
- a container with a lid big enough to contain the above listed glories
- enough water to cover the meat in the container
- room in the bottom shelf, in the back of the fridge (twice)
- liquid smoke or a smoker (both are optional)
- paper towels
- muslin or cheese cloth
- brown paper
- butcher’s twine or cotton kite string
- more time
- a freezer
- a very sharp knife or deli slicer
What you do
On the clean work surface place the pork belly and coat with salt and brown sugar. Massage it in. Place in container. (Hell, you could do this in the container to save on clean up)
Juice or process or chop fine and crush with the flat of the blade your celery or radishes (they are your nitrate source and their flavors won’t show up in the meat) pour the juice and pulp (or the choppings/grindings/whatever mess that is you made on the cutting board with the knife) in the container. Pour in enough water to cover the meat completely. Cover the container with the lid and place in the refrigerator for three day to a week.
If you are opting for the smoker I presume you know how to do a cold smoke, If not, look it up. If you are opting for liquid smoke, pour about one tablespoon into the container into the mix and put back in the fridge, covered for one more day.
After that (if you chose to go smokeless or liquid smoke option: remove the meat from the container; what you do with the remaining contents is entirely up to you. Pat the meat dry as you can) wrap in the muslin or cheese cloth. Wrap THAT all up in brown paper and tie with the string or twine.
Place back in the fridge and pray nothing gets spilled on it for two to three weeks.
Take the now bacon out, remover the paper and cloth place in the freezer for an hour or two and then slice and fry (or bake you sick, bacon baking bastards!)
Or you can go the farmer’s bacon route and that’s easier.
Coat the pork belly in salt and brown sugar, let sit in the container for three days to a week in the fridge, wrap in muslin and brown paper and tie with string then place in the fridge for SIX weeks praying nothing spills on it and remove, unwrap, freeze and slice.