Learn how to cure bacon authentically and become an amateur charcutier.
Enthusiasts exist in every walk of life. There are sports enthusiasts, music enthusiasts, wine enthusiasts, but most importantly, there are bacon enthusiasts. If you are part of this eclectic club, learning how to cure bacon should be a priority of yours. Bacon curing is an art form that can be mastered by carefully following this simple guide. Whether you want to cure delicious bacon for your selfish needs, or you’re hoping to impress fellow bacon enthusiasts, this 5 step guide will help you to achieve your goals. Before we start the guide, please note that certain equipment is needed to cure bacon at home. Homemade curing kits provide the tools, ingredients, and instructions. All you need to bring is the bacon and your passion for it. The cut that we recommend using is 500g of pork belly.
1. Bagging and Curing
Grab your pork belly and place it inside an unsealed zip lock bag. Decide on a curing mix. Cut open your packet of cure before adding it to the bag. Pause, and take a moment to bask in the mouthwatering aromas.
2. Rub it in
Rubbing the cure into the piece of bacon is an essential step. Ensure that you rub the mix evenly and extensively. Start on one side, then flip it over and take care of the other side. Once adequately rubbed, carefully seal the ziplock bag.
3. Store it in the fridge
Don’t be tempted to dig in straight away; you’re still at an early stage of the curing process. Store the bacon in the fridge and wait patiently for 4 days.
4. Wrap in muslin and prepare to hang
Learning how to cure bacon not only makes you an artisan butcher-cum-artist, it gives you an appreciation of fine cloths, like muslin. After 4 days of being nurtured by the powerful curing spices, your meat is ready to hang. Homemade curing kits provide you with a muslin cloth and a meat hook to ensure perfection at this stage. Firstly, you need to remove the bacon from the bag and wash off the cure. By now, the meat will have absorbed the flavours. Secondly, cut your muslin cloth and tie the end so that it acts as a sort of meat sack. Thirdly, add the pork to the muslin cloth and wrap it loosely. Tie the meat and cloth to the hook. Now it’s ready for the final stage - hanging.
5. Final hanging
Find a suitable spot in your fridge to mount your masterpiece. Leave the pork hanging for 3 more days. At this stage, unless you have a separate meat fridge, your entire fridge will smell like bacon. But who cares? Dry curing bacon is very important. After 3 days of hanging, your bacon is cured and ready. Take a sharp knife and thinly slice the belly lengthways into perfect bacon strips. Cook, plate, and eat your home-cured produce however you wish. A word of warning: this bacon will be seriously delicious and it might be consumed quickly by other members of your household. For the non-meat eating enthusiasts among us, try your hand at curing an alternative option, like salmon steaks or fillets.