Home Cured Bacon

1 wholepork belly, skin on
1/2 teaspoonsmoked paprika
1-2 tablespoonshoney
1 teaspooncoriander
1 teaspoonallspice
1-1/2 tablespoonsalt
2 tablespoonsmolasses
2 tablespoonscrushed juniper berries
2 tablespoonsground black pepper
2-3bay leaves, crushed
5 clovesgarlic, crushed


1. Start with a whole pork belly. Leave skin on.

2. Using the carving knife, separate the flat part of the belly from the thicker, curvier, uneven side of the belly. Use the flatter part to make pancetta or bacon.

3. In a bowl mix: 2 tablespoons crushed juniper berries, 2 tablespoons ground black pepper, 1 teaspoon allspice, 1 teaspoon coriander, 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika, crush 2-3 bay leaves, 5 cloves crushed garlic, ADD 1-1/2 tablespoon of salt per pound of belly to the mix.

4. Rub 1-2 tablespoons honey, 2 tablespoons molasses all over the belly, but not the skin. Rub salt and spice mixture onto the belly, but not the skin.

5. Place over cooling rack on top of a cookie sheet in fridge for about 2-3 days. Flip every day.

6. After 2-3 days, rinse belly and pat dry to remove salt and spice mixture. Let sit over a cooling rack in the fridge for another 3-4 days at minimum, or until the belly feels somewhat resistant to the touch (but not dry and hard as in jerky).

7. To make bacon: smoke in a smoker on a barbecue. Or, leave un-smoked as pancetta.

8. To serve, slice thin or thick and brown in a cast iron pan.

Recipe and image used with permission and courtesy of Wusthof. All rights reserved. Recipe by Camas Davis, Butcher and founder of The Portland Meat Collective, Portland, OR.

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