Project Bacon

I just bought $15 worth of pork belly from the amazing butchers at Prather Ranch Meat Co. housed in the SF Ferry Building. While it might be easier to braise large chunks of the monster or dice and fry the fatty parcels – I’m going whole hog on this project and spending the next five days curing my very own, sodium-free bacon. With little bit of time, creativity, and advice from meat professionals, it is possible to open culinary doors that seemed permanently closed.

After a brief chat with my bacon Sensei, we devised a salt-free curing plan as follows:

1. In a metal baking dish, set the pork belly (skin/fat side up)

2. Cover with approximately a 1/4 inch thick of the following dry rub mixture: brown sugar, course black pepper, smoked paprika, and some crushed Emerald Cove Organic Nori to help leach out the moisture. Refrigerate.

3. After a few days, drain the meat juices and cover with another coat of the rub. Return to the refrigerator.

4. Apparently it only takes 5 days for a proper cure but letting it sit for longer will produce stronger flavors and the bacon itself will last for two weeks instead of one.

5. As for slicing, I am hoping to take the cured belly to my local butcher, Drewes Bros Meats, to cut it into the familiar long strands.

Stay posted for the end result and the delicious, bacon, hand-made pasta that will enfold!

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5 Comments

Filed under improbable eats, recipe box

5 responses to “Project Bacon

  1. Pingback: Green Bundles of Joy | Sodium Girl

  2. shawashtotoro

    I almost wanted to cry reading this as my sodium reduced lifestyle allows no bacon and only limited pork products as a whole… Please let me know how this turned out… I know this is very late but I typed in Salt Free Bacon into Google and you were the first person not to laugh at the idea!

  3. Pingback: Green Bundles of Joy

  4. taumonk

    @shawashtotoro
    Natural pork isn’t high in sodium. It’s actually very low in sodium. The problem is that any meat you buy at a regular grocery store has been injected with saline. Natural pork runs about 30mg sodium per ounce. The stuff at a regular grocery store runs about 250mg/oz. Same thing with any meat you buy at the usual stores. Like Safeway, Kroger, Wal-Mart, etc. All the stuff they sell has been injected with saline to increase weight and shelf life. You can go to a buther shop to get meats that haven’t been injected. Or you may find John Morrell pork cuts. They don’t inject them with saline.

    For bacon substitutes, I usually use an equal mix of lemon juice and apple cider vinegar. About a tbsp each for a 3lb cut of pork belly. 1/4 cup of maple syrup (or honey) gets nuked to make it runny. The lemon juice, vinegar, and maple syrup go in the blender with 2 cloves of garlic, and about 2tsp’s each of paprika, black pepper, and sage. Whizz it in the blender. Put the belly in a big Aiploc and add the whozzed up blend. Evacyate the air from the bag and mush it around a bit. Place in frig. Every day or so, mush it around a bit to make sure everything is coated. Do that for about four days. Take out the belly and slice it thinly. Presto, you gave “bacon”. Sort of.

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