Welcome to the Farm (Lyons Press, 2017) by Shaye Elliott, is a fully illustrated and detailed guide to growing your own amazing food right in your own backyard. She offers a wide range of recipes, from jam and jellies to growing fields of organic fruits and veggies. The following excerpt is her recipe for Homemade Bacon.
Back in the day, people knew how to do cool things. Well, I think they’re cool. Surely I can’t be the only one in the world that thinks it’s exceptionally cool to cure pork belly and hang it in your kitchen.
• About 6 cups dehydrated whole cane sugar
• About 6 cups coarse sea salt
1. Combine the sugar and salt. Generously rub the flesh side of the pork belly with the mixture.
2. Rub the sugar and salt into the flesh some more.
3. Did I mention you need to rub the ol’ pork belly down with the sugar and salt? Make sure to get the sides too—anywhere water can accumulate.
4. Stack the uncovered pork belly into a large plastic bin. Stick it in the refrigerator and forget about it until the next day. Dump the accumulated liquid out of the plastic bin and rerub the flesh with the sugar and salt. Stack it all back in the tub and stick it in the fridge again.
5. The next day, dump out any accumulated liquid and rub the sugar and salt mixture on any part of the pork belly where the salt and sugar has -completely dissolved. A thin layer will do. Repeat this process every day until liquid stops accumulating in the bin. On average, around a week or two will do.
6. Rinse the pork belly with water, using your fingertips to scrub off any remaining sugar and salt. Pat dry.
7. Voila! Cured bacon.
8. At this point, you can run a meat hook through a corner of the bacon slab and store it at room temperature while you cut off pieces to cook up as you wish! We bring out our slab on special mornings, cut off a piece, and fry it up. Everyone loves bacon day.
More from: Welcome to the Farm
Reprinted with permission from Welcome to the Farm, by Shaye Elliott and published by Lyons Press, 2017.