Friday, March 29, 2013


2 ounces kosher salt (about 1/4 cup)
1 teaspoon pink curing salt
1/4 cup coconut palm sugar
1/4 cup raw agave nectar
1 5 to 6 pound pork belly
4 cups bourbon whiskey

Curing directions: If necessary, defrost your pork belly in the refrigerator. You cannot cure frozen pork! Combine the salt, pink salt and sugar in a bowl and mix well. Rub this mixture over the entire surface of the belly. Place pork belly in a 2 gallon Ziploc bag or shallow container. (The salt will make the pork release water creating a brine). Pour the agave nectar over the pork belly. Make sure it’s distributed evenly on all sides of the pork belly. Refrigerate, turning the pork, and redistributing the cure every day for seven days. Remove the pork from the cure, rinse thoroughly, and pat dry. Place it on a rack set over paper towels in the refrigerator and allow to dry, uncovered for 12-24 hours.

Smoking your pork: Set your smoker to 200 degrees. I used maple wood pellets for smoking. Hickory, apple, or pecan would work, too. Fill your water dish with four cups of your favorite bourbon or whiskey. Place your pork belly in your smoker and cook it until the pork reaches an internal temperature of 150 degrees, about 3 hours. Remove from smoker and let cool slightly when it’s cool enough to touch. If your pork belly has skin on it, cut it off leaving as much fat as possible. Allow to cool, then wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate or freeze until ready to slice and use.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Anne-Marie Nichols, This Mama Cooks!, August 9, 2011

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