Recipe for cured Maple Smoked Bacon

Meats photo for Recipe for cured Maple Smoked Bacon

Bacon refers to the belly portion of the hog and may be purchased and/or special ordered from your local butcher or from internet meat purveyors. Note: The addition of sugar helps to keep the bacon from becoming too dry and tough. The amount of sugar is adjustable. If you plan on only pan frying slices and want sweeter bacon, you can increase the maple syrup and/or sugar accordingly. For savory recipes, additional spices can be added to the exact amount of cure called for in the recipe. After curing, you may roast it in the oven for a milder version of bacon or you may vary the flavor by smoking it with different woods.

Ingredients

  • 1 TbspMorton Tender Cureper pound
  • 1pork bellypreferably with skin on
  • 1-1 1/2 Tbspmaple syrupper pound
  • 1-1 1/2 Tbspbrown sugarper pound

Procedure

Trim the pork belly in order to create an even rectangle of uniform thickness. This keeps any thin, tapered edges from over-curing and will make it easier to cut nice even chunks or slices later on.

Combine the Morton’s Tender Quick with the sugars and any other spices you may want to use.

Rub the curing mixture over the entire pork belly until it is covered evenly. Place belly in a plastic food-grade bag and close.

Place belly, skin side down, in the refrigerator and allow it to cure for 7 days per inch of thickness. Turn the bag over every other day to redistribute the cure which will form a solution as the salts extract moisture from the meat.

Check for the extent of curing by pressing the thickest portion of the belly with your finger. If it’s firm, it’s done curing. If after 7 days it is still very soft, allow it to cure a few more days or until it is firm when pressed.

Remove the pork belly from the curing bag and discard the solution. Rinse the pork belly thoroughly and then soak it in cool water For 30 minutes to remove excess salt.

Pat the pork belly dry, place it on a rack in a pan and allow it to air dry in the refrigerator for 24 hours before cooking.

After smoking, use a sharp slicing knife and cut the skin off without removing the attached fat. This is best done while the bacon is still warm.

To Oven-Roast Instead of Smoking: Preheat the oven to 200°F. Place bacon, skin side up, on a rack in a baking pan and roast until internal temperature is 150°F.

Using a sharp, slicing knife, cut the skin off without removing the attached fat. This is best done while the bacon is still warm.

Wrap and refrigerate or freeze for longer storage.

Everyone enjoys homemade sausage and fresh sauerkraut.

Meats

Making Healthy Homemade Sausage, High Protein Jerky and Cured Meats