Do you love hearing the sizzle of bacon in the pan on a lazy Sunday morning, but hate spending forever in the grocery store trying to find a brand that isn’t packed with sugar and chemicals? Or did you ever think of how much better your bacon would be if only you could add a little more spice, or a slightly different flavor? If you’re willing to be a little patient with the process, making your own bacon saves you all the doubt of hunting through the grocery-store options, and gives you total control over the result from start to finish: no sugar, no additives, and whatever seasonings your heart desires.
To achieve this feat of culinary mastery, all you’ll really need is a mix of your favorite seasonings, a big chunk of pork belly, and enough time to let it all cure. One reason why bacon is so delicious is the curing process – it takes about a week for the flavor of the spices to really permeate the meat, so this isn’t a recipe you can prepare the same day. Rushing the process will only leave you disappointed; give the bacon time to mature, and you’ll thank yourself when you sit down to enjoy it.
Because you’re starting from scratch with this recipe, it’s easily adaptable to whatever kind of flavors you like. Some suggested spices are listed below, but it’s totally up to you what blend you’d like to use. You can add some raw honey if you like it sweet, or leave it out for a strictly sugar-free product. As an added bonus, it also contains much less salt than the usual store-bought bacon. It’s the ideal way to enjoy bacon without any lingering doubts about where it came from or what’s in it – just guilt-free deliciousness!
Homemade Bacon Recipe
- 2 lb. pork belly, skin on;
- 2 tbsp. sea salt;
- 1 tbsp. freshly ground black pepper;
- 1 tsp. dried rosemary;
- 1 tsp. dried thyme;
- 1 tsp. fennel seed;
- 2 bay leaves;
- 1 garlic clove, minced;
- 1 tbsp. raw honey (optional);
- Rinse the pork belly and pat it dry.
- Combine all the seasonings in a bowl, except for the honey (if using).
- Rub all the seasoning over the pork. Place the pork in a big re-usable plastic bag with the leftover spices and the honey, if using, and shake well.
- Refrigerate the pork for one week, flipping the bag every day or so.
- After 7 days, remove the bacon from the bag, rinse it thoroughly, and pat it dry.
- Preheat your oven to 200F.
- Place the bacon in a baking pan and roast until the meat reaches 150 F., about 2 hours.
- Transfer the bacon to your cutting board and slice off the skin.
- Let the bacon cool down to room temperature, then wrap it in wax paper and refrigerate.
- When you’re ready for a delicious treat, slice the meat to whatever thickness you like, and cook it the same way as you would any other bacon.