The day I read this simple recipe in my subscription copy of Saveur, I knew I would have to try my hand at making bacon at home. From the Monterey meat counter at Metro Grocery Market!Market!, I purchased a pork belly from one half of a large pig carcass. I had this cut in half and the bones removed and I proceeded with the Saveur recipe by coating the cut of pork belly with spices, salt, sugar, etc. I didn’t have carraway seeds so I omitted them (but try to get them if you make the recipe) and added a touch of paprika for color and flavor. The pork belly was then put into a large zip-lock bag and placed in the refrigerator for a week, turning the bag over every other day…
After a week, I removed the pork belly, washed off the coating on the outside of the pork belly, then dried it off with paper towels. I then placed the belly on a sheet pan and placed it in a 200F oven to bake for a couple of hours.
After the two hours of slow baking, the pork belly looked like this photo above, and I can tell you, instinctively I knew this was a winner. It SMELLED good.
Next, the instructions said to carefully remove the skin of the belly, then cool the meat and place it in the fridge for it to firm up. Once it is cold, it can be easily sliced.
I made a thick first slice (the end of the belly) and thinner slices next. The meat looked a pale pink, and without any nitrates in this bacon, you could say it was all natural in a sense…
Fried up it gave off an incredible bacon aroma and the taste was just terrific. For the minimal amount of effort and the delicious results, this recipe is terrific and definitely a keeper! I found these slices of bacon to be almost just right spice wise. A touch salty, but bacon is supposed to be salty. If you prefer it a bit sweeter, add sugar. Thank you again, Saveur!