Dry Cured Coffee and Maple Bacon

IMG_3912Pork is often paired with sweet flavours and maple syrup is a common curing flavouring for bacon with origins in America.  The high sugar content helps create a very sticky external layer which helps the cold smoke to stick.  The maple and smoke flavours are really set off by the coffee aroma when cooking.

Recipe:

  • Pork Belly – 2kg
  • Himalayan Pink Salt – 250g
  • Salt – 250g
  • Maple Syrup – 100g
  • Dark Muscovado Sugar – 300g
  • Espresso Powder – 10g
  • Prague Powder #1 – 5g (2.5 g per kg of meat)
  • A dry curing box

Hygiene is important so keep utensils, surfaces and extremities good and clean.

  • Combine all the dry ingredients thoroughly in a bowl.IMG_0442
  • Trim the pork belly of any uneven bits and remove any ribs if the butcher has left them on.  The rind can be a bit tough to slice at home once the bacon is ready so you can remove it now in one go.
  • Give the belly a rinse under cold water and pat dry with kitchen paper.
  • Spread a layer of the cure blend into the top tier of the curing container.  You may choose to put some cheese-cloth in first to prevent too much of the cure falling into the bottom tier.
  • Add your pork belly ensuring there is some space between the meat and the sides/top of the container, and spread over the remainder of the cure, covering the top and sides of the meat.
  • Pop the lid on and store in the fridge for 5 days, checking occasionally to empty any liquid.
  • After 5 days, give the pork a good rinse and hang somewhere cool and dry, or in the fridge to develop a sticky coating
  • Smoke for 10 hours; we used maple wood dust following which he bacon should be refrigerated. 

To slice the bacon evenly, it helps to pop it in the freezer for 10-15 minutes first.

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