Pork 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.
- 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.
- 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.