Ah, bacon... a delicious food. Goes great on sandwiches, Liver, beside eggs, wrapped around another meat, or even on it's own. About a couple weeks ago, my brother showed me a recipe for homemade bacon that he found in a magazine, so I copied it down and decided to try it at home.
Here's the basic ingredients:
-Pork Loin or Pork Butt (No, your mother wasn't kidding when she said Bacon is made from the part of the pig where the poop comes out). Go for Loin if you want a leaner Bacon (something akin to Canadian Bacon), but Pork butt is cheaper (Gee, I wonder why? ).
-Curing Salt (1 tablespoon per pound of pork loin)
-Brown Sugar (same proportions as the Curing Salt)
Here's the pork loin (rib portion) before I cracked it open and cut it in half so it would fit in the Ziploc bags I was going to use. Also shown are some of the ingredients I talked about earlier, and some I didn't.
Basically, the trick now is to mix up the brown sugar and the curing salt and rub it into the Pork. If you don't want to make a mess of your cupboard, just put it all in the Ziploc and rub it in that way. When you're finished, it should look something like this:
Now for the marinade... Yep, you're gonna be marinating this bacon as it cures. You can use a variety of ingredients, but I used the following:
-Liquid Hickory Smoke
-Molasses (I used Cooking Molasses)
Mix those up and pour 'em into the bag (if you've split the meat up like I did, then I recommend you make separate marinades for each bag). Afterwards, flip the bag a few times before you put them in the fridge to marinate/cure.
Here's the meat after the marinade has been mixed into it. Time to put this in the fridge to keep it cool while we marinate it.
Let it sit in the fridge and marinate it for a week, flipping the bags over every half a day. After it's done marinating, take it out of the bag and discard the bag and the marinade. Rinse it off VERY thoroughly (I can't stress this enough. The curing salt doesn't discriminate as to what it works on; it'll do to your innards what it does to the meat). Afterwards, you'll have something like this:
Preheat your oven to 200 F, or the Celsius equivalent, and get your bacon ready. I did something a little different with the leaner portion of meat; I rolled it in Cornmeal to make Peameal Bacon (which is apparently very expensive around here).
Here's the meat, ready to go in the oven.
When you put it in the oven, let it stay in there till it's got an internal temperature of 150F. I don't have a meat thermometer, so I just left it in the oven for a few hours and prayed that it would be cooked enough (it was)
Here's the basic stuff (the fat has the same color as a meat, by the by):
Afterwards, I turned up the temperature and got the peameal bacon to crisp up a bit on the outside, so here it is:
I've eaten a piece of both, and all I can say is that it's the Best Danged Bacon I ever ate!