Maple Bacon 2012

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:

Red Wattle Pork Belly

Half of my pork belly. Isn't it a beautiful thing?

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.

The cross section, for those who dream of bacon

To each 5-pound piece, I added a cure of pink salt, kosher salt, and dextrose, and a half cup of Maine maple syrup.

I premixed a lot of the cure at Christmastime. This made today's work super simple!

It really IS worth the effort. Thanks Aunt E, for the 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.

Wrapped and ready for the fridge

And now we wait a few days, letting the cure do its magic.

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2 Responses to Maple Bacon 2012

  1. David says:

    I like the use of kosher salt on the bacon.

  2. Jennifer says:

    I’m glad you can appreciate irony, David. Absolutely essential.

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