Tuesday, December 6, 2011
Curing Bacon at Home
1/2 c. kosher salt
1 1/2 cloves of fresh garlic, crushed
2 small sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 sprig of fresh thyme, crumbled to remove leaves
1 bay leaf
10 juniper berries
fresh ground pepper
I hand ground the garlic and herbs with a mortar and pestle, then blended them with the salt.
Two days later I drained off the small amount of fluid that had collected in the bottom of the container and reapplied the curing salt.
After five days I could see that no more liquid was draining out, and the bacon was quite a bit firmer than it had been at first. The final step was to thoroughly rinse the bacon, pat it dry, and smoke it for 2 hours with hickory chips.
We learned a few things from this experiment:
(1) The ideal time for curing the bacon is 3 to 5 days;
(2) one hour is long enough to smoke it, and
(3) it was truly delicious, and we can't wait to taste our own bacon!