Bacon wrapped around anything is pure heaven. But sitting around giggling with the girls over cocktails you can only imagine how the conversation could take a turn. I cannot put in print all the giggly bacon brashness that was bandied about.
What I can share with you is my latest foray into Bacon Nirvana…
This time I started with 2 (yes, 2) pork bellies from Tails and Trotters. I used a touch less cure (that wasn’t entirely intentional) and added a lovely herb blend that I modified from one I found at Adventures With the Pig. While my first bacon was incredibly delectable, I found it a bit too salty. Friends raved, but I was aiming for something a bit more savory.
I sprinkled 1 tablespoon pre-mixed cure per side of pork belly.
Then I mixed my herb blend:
3 teaspoons celery seed
2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
4 grams fresh thyme leaves
2 teaspoon oregano
1 1/2 teaspoons white pepper
1 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
3 small bay leaves crumbled
I mixed all this up and divided it between my 2 pork bellies.
I discussed what I was aiming for with Aaron from T&T and he gave me a few suggestions to get me closer to my perfect bacon. I shortened the cure time by a couple of days and I think that made a big difference. This time I let the cure sit for a total of 5 days instead of my previous 8. He had also suggested a dry cure after the salt cure, but I just didn’t have room in the fridge this time.
I set the Weber up for smoking (indirect heat) and I smoked for about 2 hours at 250 (or until it reaches an internal temperature of 150). I used applewood chips from Home Depot.
This bacon made it’s way into several recipes which I will be sharing shortly. (gotta save something for another post!) But I will say, this bacon was nothing short of divine.