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Homemade Maple Bacon!

Ingredients

Makes 3-5 lbs.

1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
4 TBS ground black pepper
4 bay leaves, crumbled
1 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
5 cloves garlic, minced
2 tsp pink curing salt (ask your butcher for some)
5 sprigs fresh thyme (optional)
3-5 lbs pork belly

Instructions

Mix all the cure ingredients (salt through thyme) and rub the cure on all sides of the pork belly. Place pork in a gallon sized zip top plastic bag and put in the fridge for seven days. Flip the bag daily to make sure liquid that’s drawn out is evenly distributed.

After one week, preheat the oven to 200 degrees and remove cured pork from fridge. Rinse all the cure off the meat and pat dry. Place the pork on a rack in a baking dish or pan tray. Cook for 90 minutes or until internal temperature reaches 150 degrees.

If you happen to be lucky enough to have you own homemade smoker, you can also substitute the earlier step by smoking your bacon for 3hrs using your favorite woodchips. Don't forget, you will still need to reach the same internal temperature of 150 degress.

Let the meat cool, thinly slice it into strips and you’ve got your bacon!! Refrigerate what you don’t cook up right away and freeze the rest within 5 days.

Feel free to play around with your flavor options by using different spices.

Approximate cost/serving: As I said in the post, the cost depends on how cheap you can get your pork belly. For me the cost came out to about $2 per pound or 3 cents a slice.