Yes, you can cure your own bacon with Black Honey, and rest assured because you know exactly what goes into it.
This bacon recipe from Darren is tried and true. As Darren says, 'We vacuum seal our bacon before we freeze it to maintain the fresh quality as best we can but in all honesty the bacon is so good we've never managed to keep it over a month in the freezer. It beats supermarket bacon hands down.'
Recipe and photo credit: Darren and Cindy Davidson
The Best Black Honey Cured Bacon
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It's a bit of a process to make bacon, but this recipe is tried and true. You will need a meat thermometer as well as time. Give it a go for the best black honey cured bacon.Author:
- 1.25kg pork belly boned skin on
4 teaspoons (total) Black Honey. Two for the curing stage and two for the glazing stage.
¼ cup salt
¼ cup caster sugar
½ teaspoon curing salt (pink, available at Bin Inn stores)
¼ cup salt
¼ cup caster sugar
½ teaspoon of curing salt (exactly, do not use a rounded measure)
Dry Cure Mix
Curing the raw pork belly
Remove and discard the pork skin. This will bring the weight to around 1.125kg. Lay a large piece of cling film across the bench and sprinkle almost half the cure mix on the cling film in an area approximately the size of the pork belly.
Spread a teaspoon of Black Honey into the top of your pork belly using the back of a spoon and place it honey side down on the cling film over the cure mix.
Spread another teaspoon of Black Honey onto the other side of the pork belly and evenly sprinkle the rest of the cure mix over the pork belly including the sides. Ensure it gets into all the crevices. Turn it back over if you need to. It's important to try and get an even spread of cure mix all over both sides of the entire pork belly so it cures evenly into the middle.
Wrap the pork belly up with the cling film, seal it in a snap lock bag (or two) and put it in the fridge. Give it a turn each day for four days. When you see some liquid around the meat remove the cling film and continue to cure in the fridge till day four.
After four days it's cured and you need to wash the excess cure off the meat or it will be too salty. You can rinse it in a large bowl of clean filtered water or you can rinse it straight under clean tap water. Either way, pat dry with paper towels.Trim a slice off, fry it up and taste it. If it's still too salty, wash it under water again and test another piece. Rinsing and then soaking it in a bowl of clean water for an hour works well. Pat dry with paper towels and place the cured pork back in the fridge uncovered and exposed to the air for a full day to dry out.
Cooking the cured pork
After drying it needs to be par cooked. Finely score the bacon surface and spread two teaspoons of Black Honey onto the top surface into the cuts.
You are aiming to honey glaze with an oven temperature of 110C and an internal (bacon) temp between 63C minimum, to be safe, and 65 degrees maximum (but no higher). You will need a meat thermometer to monitor the temperature of the bacon.
Oven temp - 110C
Bacon ‘internal temp’ - 63C - 65C
If you want smoked bacon: take it out when internal temp of the meat is at about 55C and finish bringing it up to temp in your hot smoker.
To trim the bacon, slice with a fillet knife when its fridge cold. Begin by trimming the uneven edges off to make a uniform rectangle shape and thinly slice it up. You can make lardons (small cubes) from the off-cuts for soups, stews, pizza and pasta. Being the outside edges they will have a lovely slightly stronger flavour.
It will last 3 weeks in the fridge or 3 months in the freezer.
Note from Darren: 'We vacuum seal our bacon before we freeze it to maintain the fresh quality as best we can but in all honesty the bacon is so good we've never managed to keep it over a month in the freezer. It beats supermarket bacon hands down.'
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