Bourbon Maple Bacon
4-5 lb. fresh pork belly (skin off)
1/2 cup maple sugar
1/2 cup pure maple syrup
1/2 cup bourbon (if you wouldn't drink it, don't cook with it)
1/2 cup kosher salt
4 teaspoons curing salt (AKA "pink salt")
3 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
Combine all the ingredients for the cure and mix well (it will be a little more liquid than a paste).
Cut the pork belly in half width wise so you have two fairly equal pieces.
Rub the cure equally over both sides of both pieces (use all the cure mix)
Place each piece of pork belly into a 2-2 1/2 gallon zip lock bag (if there is any cure left, pour it into the bags at this time), remove as much air as possible and seal them.
Place them in a pan and then into the refrigerator.
Turn them every day for seven to 10 days (depends on the size and thickness of your pork belly).
After the curing time is done, remove your pork belly from the bags and rinse them well.
Pat them dry.
Place them on cooling racks on sheet pans and place them in the refrigerator for three hours (to dry the bacon a little)
Preheat your oven to 200 degrees.
After three hours, place in the oven for approximately three hours or until a 150 degree internal temperature has been achieved.
Let the bacon cool before slicing and cooking.
If you don't like bourbon, leave it out, it will be less liquidy and more pasty but will work just fine.
If you like your bacon smoked, use your smoker instead of your oven and add whatever wood you prefer for smoking.
Pairs Well With
Well...pork, bacon...'nuff said...
Note: the preparation time does NOT include curing time!
This is a "wet cure"