What do I need for curing?
- Salt (Kosher salt is best)
- Flavorings (optional)
- Maple syrup (the real stuff, for the love of nature!)
- Brown Sugar
- Black Pepper
- Other, as desired
- A non-metalic covered curing vessel
- A rig for keeping the belly out of it's own liquid. We used a large tupperware, with two small lids underneath the belly to keep it out of the pool.
- Or, you can just use gallon-sized baggies (cut the belly in half if necessary... two bags, two different cures?). They will retain the liquid around the belly and possibly not get you as dry of a cure, but you're used to water-logged store bacon anyway (and you could drain the bag daily!). Be sure to double-bag to prevent contamination.
- A spot in the fridge to keep it cold (and safe!)
Ok, let's get curing!
- You do NOT need to remove the skin of the belly.
- On a VERY CLEAN surface, rub both sides of the belly in a coat of salt. This is about a quarter-cup total for both sides. It doesn't need to cake, just coat. See photo above.
- Rub both sides with your flavoring, a quarter-cup total. Brown sugar? Maple Syrup? Cracked Black Pepper? Your call!
- Place in your curing vessel.
- Daily, for one week:
- Drain the liquid, if necessary
- Add more salt to coat each side (1-2 Tablespoons total)
- Flip over
The weather has been great lately for doing a little winter pruning (I tackled our blackberries last weekend!). Have you been doing any outdoor projects?