22 February 2012

fresh bacon update: day 5

ooh, now it is getting good!!
the meat is firmer and the rind has begun to stiffen & change texture.
it is feeling more bacony!
the scent that drifted up when i opened the container was very garlicky.
in order to fortify the herbaceous undertone we are going for,
i added a few more bay leaves. bay is subtle and just smells so delicious!

we will flip this baby one more time on friday
and, if we are lucky, sunday will be the day we smoke it!

bob & sarah's bacon, day 5
this is the fat side
image by sarah c baron

bob & sarah's bacon, day 5
this is the meat side
image by sarah c baron

bob & sarah's bacon, day 5
fortified with a little more bay
image by sarah c baron

20 February 2012

fresh bacon update: day 3

today we got to flip our bacon-in-progress for the first time!

it is only the third day of curing and already we can see some changes!
the salt cure is starting to draw the moisture from the meat.
the texture is noticeably firmer than it was saturday afternoon,
even the colors are intensifying,
and this lovely piece of pork belly is now surrounded by a slurry of liquid, salt and spices.

its starting to get exciting, kids!

bob & sarah make bacon : day 3
the fat side is on the left and the meat side is on the right
images by sarah c baron

19 February 2012

bob & sarah make bacon

nope, we aren't cooking bacon,
we are making bacon!!

saturday afternoon, we visited our favorite local butcher here in rva,
the belmont butchery, and asked tanya and the guys for two pounds of
delicious uncured, un-smoked, antibiotic-free pork belly!!
they were also kind enough to toss in some pink salt for us
since, as usual, bob & sarah cook on the fly and are often unprepared!

pink salt is a combination of table salt and sodium nitrite
which is what makes bacon taste like bacon and not like ham.

our resource for this information is mark ruhlman's book
charcuterie: the craft of salting, smoking, and curing.
it is both informative and lovely,
and you all know how i enjoy a really pretty book!

so... we took this beautiful piece of pork belly home where we rubbed it with a mixture of
salt, pink curing salt, sugar, peppercorn, crushed garlic, bay leaf & some other random dried herbs.
we popped it into an airtight container, also known as our brownie pan with a lid,
and into the refrigerator, where it will take a seven day nap.
every two days, the pork belly gets flipped over to keep redistributing the curing mixture.

so stay tuned, blog friends, for the results of this amazing experiment in bacon awesomeness!
it is bound to be incredible and possibly, eventually, disastrous for the health of bob & sarah!

bob & sarah make bacon: day 1
image by sarah c baron