This year, we chose not raise feeder pigs on our homestead. That meant we needed to source holistically raised pork within a 30-mile radius of our home. Unfortunately, we had to expand our search to a 50-mile radius, but alas we did find a “local” farmer that butchered on site and did not use any chemicals during the butchering process of the animal.
I am happy to say we have a freezer full of pork, which includes bacon. Prior to homesteading we would purchase our bacon from the store just like everyone else. I was careful not to buy any bacon that had nitrates because nitrates can cause cancer. I thought I was doing the right thing, and for the circumstances that we had at the time, I was making the right choice. However, there other things in these processed meats that make them unhealthy.
When we started raising our own meat, we found that not only was it healthier for you, but the taste is wildly better, juicier, and much more satisfying to the palette than any version you can find in the store. That being said, you might think that it is impossible to buy bacon that is good to eat. You would be wrong.
Prior to perfecting this recipe that I am about to share with you, I would go to my local grocery store and purchase pork belly. Now this may mean that you need to expand your search to various grocery stores as not all stores carry this cut of meat, but when you do find it, try to buy one pound of pork belly. This is so that the cost is not too steep, and one pound is easier to work with, than three or four pounds of meat. Once you have perfected this recipe to your taste, then I would recommend buying more, or simply growing your own meat.
I call this recipe Refrigerator Bacon because you always keep this in your refrigerator. This is not a cured meat. There are many ways to cure bacon, but I find that my family loves the taste of this recipe and its many variations rather than the traditionally cured bacon. Salt it not the main ingredient in this recipe. If you have a health issue with salt, this recipe might work for you because cured meats require lots of salt, however, this recipe does not.
So, let’s make some bacon.
1lb of pork belly
1 TBSP Fresh ground black pepper
3 TBSP Brown Sugar
1 TBSP Crushed Sage
3 TBSP Smoked Paprika
2 TBSP Mustard
½ TBSP Salt
¼ Cup of Worcestershire sauce or Liquid Smoked sauce of your choice
Remove pork belly from store container or packaging. Rince with cold water, pat dry, and set it aside.
Into a bowl combine ground pepper, brown sugar, crushed sage, smoked paprika, and salt together.
In a separate bowl combine Worcestershire sauce and mustard together.
Place pork belly in a refrigerator safe container that has a lid.
Spread the Worcestershire mustard sauce with a food grade brush on the pork belly. Make sure to get both sides evenly.
Spread two tablespoons of dried spices on to the bottom of the container, then place the pork, fat side down into the container.
Spread the rest of the dried spices on the top and sides of the meat.
Cover and place in the refrigerator for two days prior to serving.
Flip the meat in the container daily. This is very important.
This will keep in your refrigerator for one week, although I have kept it for a lot longer and have been just fine. Use your best judgement, but stick to one week or seven days max.
When you are ready to have bacon, simply slice and cook as you would any other bacon you buy from the store.