I’m lucky enough to live in an area where people grow food and raise meat animals so that the animals have good lives, and get to eat what they are supposed to. I’m even luckier to live in a town that has a small local meat processing plant where local farmers send their animals. Even better, I’ve established a relationship with several local producers who like having their meat processed by my local meat locker. This, and my freezer in the garage, allow me to purchase a whole Red Wattle pig each year, choose how it is cut and packaged, and to make really good bacon and sausages at home. Some might say that it’s easier to just go to the grocery store, but my life is much richer doing it this way. Check this out:
I got two of these beauties, to cut, cure, and cook as I like. This is the Maple Bacon belly. I cut the belly into three large pieces. I figure each of the three cut pieces weighs about 5 pounds.
To each 5-pound piece, I added a cure of pink salt, kosher salt, and dextrose, and a half cup of Maine maple syrup.
They’ll need to be overhauled a couple times in the next week or so, and then they’ll be ready for slicing. I’m betting this batch will be better than the stuff I mailed out at Christmas time- I know it will be prettier.
And now we wait a few days, letting the cure do its magic.