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!