I think I’ve made my love of bacon well known. And after making pancetta, what else could I do but make homemade bacon? I don’t need to bring home the bacon ’cause I made it myself. And, yes, my jokes are that corny in real life.
I actually bought the pork belly on a whim the last time we were at an Asian grocery store. I didn’t initially have any plans for it but Angela pushed for me to make bacon. How can you resist a woman who requests bacon? And, yes, that does make my wife the best ever.
This bacon is a bit different than what you usually procure in a grocery store. The main difference being that it isn’t smoked. I would smoke the bacon but a second floor apartment doesn’t make that easy.
This is actually a lot easier to make than the pancetta. It doesn’t have the flavoring ingredients that the pancetta does. It also isn’t dried like the pancetta but is instead roasted.
The flavor of the bacon is quite good. The bacon and pork flavors are much more pronounced. It’s almost too much (but isn’t). You’d need to be careful using it in a dish where bacon is only one of many ingredients or the bacon may overwhelm all the others (but maybe that isn’t a bad thing).
Homemade Fresh Bacon
Adapted from Charcuterie
- Trim the pork belly to a rectangular shape. Mix the kosher salt, dextrose, and pink salt together on a wide low sided tray. Dredge the pork belly through the salt mixture until it is covered on all sides.
- Place the pork belly in a large zip top bag and place in the refrigerator. Let it refrigerate for 7 days, turning it over every other day.
- After 7 days, the pork belly should be firm. Remove the pork belly from the zip top bag and rinse it under running water. Dry it with paper towels.
- Cook the pork belly in a preheated 200ºF oven on rack over a backing tray until it’s internal temperature reaches 150ºF, about two hours.
- Remove the pork belly from the oven. Using a sharp knife, cut off the skin from the pork belly. Allow the pork belly to cool completely.
- Cut the pork belly into slices of bacon. It can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or freezer for up to 3 months. To eat, cook like normal bacon (fry or bake).
Makes 2 to 4 lbs. of fresh bacon.