This is my first time out of the gate with making bacon. I ordered a whole, skinless wild boar belly from Marx Foods. Broken Arrow Ranch, my usual game supplier, was out of stock. As it turned out, they had it back in stock the following day, but by then Marx had already shipped. Wild Boar is significantly leaner than pork. As a result, the belly had very little fat and will produce a nice meaty bacon. Took a nice 3 lb piece and started the process.
I used the basic dry cure recipe from Michael Ruhlman’s book “Charcuterie.” In this case, I used 1 pound of kosher salt (Morton’s), 2 ounces of pink salt (Insta Cure #1), 1/4 cup of maple sugar and 1/4 maple syrup.
Yes, I know all the arguments against nitrites, but I also know all the arguments against botulism. The bacon will be smoked at a low temperature for a long period of time. Avoiding botulism just seemed like a sensible step.
The Sausage Maker happens to have a store about 15 minutes from my house. A quick trip secured a one pound box of Insta Cure that should last awhile.
The maple sugar and syrup will add sweetness and this will be breakfast bacon. I was stuck using Grade A dark amber syrup. I would have much preferred Grade B, but the stores don’t sell it.
I used the salt box method from appyling the dry ingredients of the cure. This entails placing the cure on the bottom of a pan and simply pressing the meat into the cure and shaking off any excess.
Once the dry ingredients were in place, I placed the belly into a large storage bag and then drizzled the maple syrup onto the meat. This went into the refrigerature for seven days and will be flipped daily.
Late next week, it will be smokin’ time.