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Thursday, September 4, 2008

It's BACON!!!!!


(Said like the dog in that old commercial where the dog smells bacon but can't read the bag of treats. "Bacon bacon bacon bacon...BACON!!!) (Not that this recipe is even remotely like dog treats, though I suppose your dog would L-O-V-E it if you dropped some of this on the floor...)

But! Moving on. hehe. We made our own bacon. Yes. We cured it at home, and it's seriously one of the easiest things you can do in your kitchen. Easier than washing dishes, even! As easy as making toast!

If you guys aren't getting Saveur magazine, you should be. Not only is it full of wonderful and interesting articles, but it's loaded with beautiful food and regular people, and surprisingly easy recipes. Sure, there are some that are a little more complicated, but for the most part, very easy and totally doable. And it's just good food. Nothing that makes you go "Excuse me? Who in their right mind would eat THAT?!" It's the one of the few magazine subscriptions that I make sure to always renew. But don't take my word for it, go to their site and have a look around--get recipes there, too!

Anyway, the bacon. They have an article in the current issue called "Urban Harvest--A New Yorker discovers that age-old tradition of canning suits big-city life just fine." One of the recipes that caught our eye right away was the bacon. Not only did it look great, but it was so easy. It takes seven days, but that's just time sitting in the fridge. Easy!

You start with skin-on pork belly. It did take a little tracking down to get some, but we ended finding a great source for fresh meats in our area, and if we ever need a pig to roast, we know where to go. Try calling the butchers in your area, and if they don't have it, ask them who does. I ordered five pounds, which makes two batches--but if you're making bacon, you may as well have some extra to freeze, right?

So we brought the pork belly home and set to work. "We" would be my husband, Billy, and myself. (I? If my grammar is wrong there, I don't want to know. B
ut please let me know anyway.) We had a total OMG and eeeewww moment when he flipped it over and my 13 year old said "Are those nipples on it?!?!" LOL! That was almost too much for me to handle. But what was even worse? Billy grabbed my kitchen shears and snipped them off, because you've got to put a dry rub on these, and who wants to rub pig nipples? Not me. Or him, for that matter. *Elle faints--almost* I had to look away while he did it, lol!

The rub is easy to do, but would have been easier if I could find my coffee grinder. Damn thing--I lost it when we moved, I guess. WTF? How do you lose one small appliance, and nothing else? Obviously, it didn't have it's own box for the journey over to the new place. It was packed with other stuff, and we didn't lose anything else. At least, I don't think we did, hehe. So--the rub! It's easy, and totally customizable. I followed the recipe this time, but I'll experiment with different combos next time.

Basically, you put the rub on, stick the pork belly in a zip-top bag, and put it in the fridge for seven days, flipping every other day. (The bag, not you. Though that would be something to see, wouldn't it?) On the seventh day, you've created BACON. Can you almost hear the choir of angels? hehe. Well, first you've got to bake it for two hours at 200 degrees. Then you've made bacon. Store it in the fridge for 10 days, or freeze for 3 months. Want to eat some? Of course you do! Just slice off how much you want, and cook it however you like--fry it up in a pan, or bake it. It's all good.

You can find the recipe and some step-by-step photos here at Saveur. I just love them, I really do.

But here are some of our step-by-steps to tide you over till you make your own bacon:

Pig Nipple Rub (I wonder if that would be a good seller. Who knows, pigs might really enjoy it.)



Bacon-in-a-bag.



After baking and slicing, and then you can fry it up in a pan. dun dun dun da da! (Please tell me I'm not the only one that gets that reference...)



Now it's ready to eat!


mmmmm...crispy bacon!!!


Oh, yeah...come to me, BLT! With garden tomatoes, I might add!

Now I have to be honest with you, my faithful readers. See that BLT up there? See the three slices of bacon? The one on the top, just under the bread, is a slice of store bought bacon. The other two, underneath that one, are homemade bacon. Why two different kinds? Because my 13 year old, who also loves BLT's, wouldn't touch the home cured stuff after the whole nipple incident--imagine that! hehe. So we made some of the store bought stuff for her. And hey, it's all bacon. I wasn't going to let that lonely piece of bacon just sit there all alone and lonely. So it made it's way to my sandwich.

I really hope some of you guys will try this. The bacon is amazing. Not too salty, not too greasy, and way more meaty. Imagine all the things you could do with it!

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46 comments:

April in CT said...

Reading this made my boobs hurt "...grabbed the kitchen shears and snipped them off..."

Can you imagine the web search hits you're going to get from this? LOL I've been on a bacon kick lately and if I wasn't terrified of nightmares from pig nipples I might consider trying this. *shivers*

Elle said...

oops--didn't think of the google-bot! lmbo!
Aside from the pig nipples, it's a fun recipe, hehe. Next time, I'll ask the meat guy to dispose of them first. I'll pay extra, even!

Dawn said...

I am so craving a good BLT. I love this one -- you put bacon on it; I mean a good amount of it too. I hate when you go to some sub place and they like give you 2 slices. And you stand there thinking WTF? 2 slices is good for one bite...pile some more on there pal. lol

Elle said...

Dawn, yes! They'll give you a whole head of lettuce and 2 measly pieces of bacon. geez. hehe!

VeggieGirl said...

HAHA!! I remember that dog treat commercial :0)

Kevin said...

Making your own bacon sounds like fun! You could experiment with different flavours.

Mrs Erg├╝l said...

Wow, homemade bacon, the first time I read about it! Well done Elle and Billy! I know all about the losing stuff while moving craze, we just moved on Sunday and we're still trying to locate the many items in the cartons....

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RecipeGirl said...

I'm thoroughly impressed. It wouldn't even occur to me to make my own bacon. You rock!

kat said...

You made your own bacon! Ok, now Matt is seeing this is thinking it sounds like a good idea... We are so impressed!

Cynthia's Blog said...

Now this is impressive. Really impressive

noble pig said...

The BLT have a love relationship since the 70's...love it.

canarygirl said...

Elle, I bow down to your bacon making ways! And that song reference? Was that the "I can bring home the bacon! Fry it up in a pan!" from what perfume was that? Enjoli? Ahn-zho-lee? lmfao I would totally pay extra for pig nipple removal, too. I have been craving blt's for weeks! I think today's the day. Especially after seeing your photos! :D

Grace said...

i kneel at your feet, oh queen of bacon. what an incredible undertaking (one that i've never even considered). and hey, before you know it, you'll be an old pro at massaging pig nipples. :)

Bunny said...

You made slab bacon!! that's what they call it in the store when it's all one piece and you slice it yourself!! I didn't know you could do this either!! You're awesome Elle!! Honey don't feel bad about losing the coffee grinder, I can loose something in this house just by laying it down and walking away from it! Ha Ha!!

Foodycat said...

You made bacon? Your very own? You are my new god. But I know what you mean about the nipples. I have to slice them off pork belly before my husband sees because he can't eat it if he knows they have been there.

SouthPacificBody said...

Pig nipple rub? Haha... awesome! :D Umm.... can you explain that joke... I'm slow!

PaniniKathy said...

I am soooo impressed! I picked up that issue of Saveur this month too and was pretty enticed by this article. Way to make a BLT even better :-)

Deborah said...

This has my mouth watering! I wonder if I can find a pork belly...

Foodycat said...

The beautiful thing about this was that I had all the ingredients at home. Our home made bacon is 7 days away!

Pam said...

I had a blt for lunch today but I KNOW yours was better. I have never thought of making my own bacon - great job Elle.

Nate-n-Annie said...

Wow, I thought you needed curing salts to cure meat. I guess not. This is cool.

Do you have to use belly pork, or could some other cut work?

Elle said...

VG--I'm so glad you remember the commercial!

Kevin--it'll be fun to try other flavor combos!

Mrs. E--good luck with finding your stuff, lol!

Lori--it's so easy!

Kat--thanks so much!

Cynthia--thank you!

Cathy--you and me, both, bu since the 80's. hehe

Nikki--yes! You got it!

Grace--I'll never be a pro at rubbing pig nipples, hehe.

Bunny--LOL!

SPB--the pork belly still had nipples on it! yuck, lol!

Pan. Kathy--isn't it just loaded with great recipes?

Deborah--call around. A butcher should be able to direct you to a place where you can find it.

Foodycat--get out! How cool is that? yay!

Pam--thank you!

Nate and Annie--I'm really not sure if some other cut would work. I've done a little looking around and someone said to try Asian markets for pork belly. This blog mentions using pork butt and loins, but gives no recipe for it. Maybe you could email and ask for more info?

http://www.ethicurean.com/2007/03/09/making-bacon/

giz said...

You did that? You actually cured your own bacon?? Now that's what I call dyed in the cloth foodie junkies. I bow before you.

Brilynn said...

I make my own bacon too, isn't it awesome?! So much better than anything you'd buy in the store.

emiglia said...

Congratulations on making your own bacon! I tend to be too lazy for something like that, especially when in general I'm cooking for one or maybe two. But I loved reading about it, and those sandwiches look to-die-for!

MrOrph said...

Wow! I just did this last week!!!!

I haven't posted it yet, but it's coming! You scooped me. :-)

I got my belly from Niman Ranch and it was the whole 11 pounds! No nipples though.

Lisa said...

Oh thank you! My hubby will love to do this.

Trisha said...

Just read that Saveur article the other day. I'm always amazed at how straightforward certain kitchen procedures are that I've always thought would be too difficult. Or maybe I'm just not as lazy as I used to be...

Mark by Chocolate said...

As an ex-linguist, I can say that "myself" is reflexive and must be used with the first person singular. Thus,



"I saw pictures of myself on sale." -- grammatical
"John saw pictures of himself on sale." -- ditto
"John saw picture of themselves on sale." -- not grammatical
"I saw pictures of me on sale." -- not grammatical
"John saw pictures of him on sale." -- grammatical if him is another peson.
"So we brought the pork belly home and set to work." -- grammatical
"We" would be my husband, Billy, and myself." -- not grammatical. It should have been, "me" not "myself". However, myself is now being used of emphasis. So have at it. You're covered. If you're still worried, I'll send you a certificate, from a certified linguist, that will absolve you. ;-)

Yup, bacon is very easy. As easy as making gravlax, which I had thought I'd put on my blog. Time to rectify that. Have you ever thought of making a cold smoker out of filing cabinet? This winter, I'm going to give it a try.

Sophie said...

I can't even begin to tell you how excited I was to hear that you cured your own bacon! That's too neat...oh and that sandwich looks heavenly...yeah, a blt would be pretty nice right about now :).

Katie's blog said...

Hi Elle! What a fabulous idea! I would love to try this and I think I will. This post is really funny. That coffee grinder sounds like things I have lost in moves.

Oh, and please put my name in for the giveaway. sprange@hometel.com

HoneyB said...

Great post! OH, and speaking of the google bot....someone actually googled "hunkie amish men do it best" and came up with MY site! OMG! All because I had called someone hunkie on one of my postings! SCARY.

Ingrid said...

WOW! Now THAT is really impressive! I'm in awe! I would NEVER have thought to make my own bacon. You children must look forward to meal times. I know my would!

maybelle's mom said...

We did homemade bacon recently, though lost the pictures in a computer mishap so never posted it. The nipples really adding a skeevy, unseemly side to everything. But, it sure is easy huh.

culinarytravelsofakitchengoddess said...

Home cure bacon & in a BLT - sandwich heaven Elle!!

Maggie said...

The nipple story is too funny. I'd have to hide evidence of nipples from my husband or he wouldn't eat it either.

LyB said...

Elle, you crack me up! I laughed from the beginning to the end of this post. Oh, and I drooled too, how could I not! And imagine that, I just bought that issue of Saveur, just this past weekend, my first one ever. It is a fabulous magazine. I can't believe I'm thinking of making my own bacon though. lol!

Shannon said...

You're definitely not the only one who gets that reference... but I wish I didn't remember that cheesy commercial :)

Shannon said...

Oops... referring of course to the Sizzlean commercial :)

kitchenbelle said...

Hahaha! I remember that bacon dog treat commercial! I could hear the dog's voice as I was reading your post!

comforttable.wordpress.com

Foodycat said...

Best bacon I have ever had!

Bob said...

Guh. I will be trying this. Oh yes, it is going to happen.

Foodycat said...

There's an award for you over on my blog.

Elle said...

Thank you, SO much, everyone! I have to say, it was really a lot of fun making homemade bacon. Who knew?

Foodycat--I'm so glad you liked it, and thanks so much--going ever to your blog right now!

Meryl said...

Elle, you are completely amazing! I never in a million years would have done that, yet it must be a wonderful feeling to eat your own bacon. Really, that's wonderful! Was that the best BLT you ever had, or what?

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