Chilebrown at home

Saturday, June 7, 2008


I got some false information about our International Market being closed. A reliable source informed me that it was in the process of being torn down. I immediately became depressed. This is my connection for fresh Sea Food and Pork. I had to find out for myself. I jumped in my Hooptie and cruised to the market. The market was in shambles. The parking lot was fenced off. Construction workers were everywhere. In the chaos there was a large sign that read: "Open During Construction". I started to cry in relief. I was so happy that I ran in and bought 8 pounds of Pork Belly. This pork will be magically turned into a cured and smokey product lovingly called Bacon.

Bacon is not a difficult item to make. The secret is balance. You need to find the right combination of Salt, Sugar, and Smoke. I have attempted to make bacon several times. I have progressively improved with every batch. I have had success with a curing salt called Morton's Sugar Cure. It can be purchased directly from Mortons or from a Sausage supply company. Brown sugar will be added to the salt and rubbed all over the bellies. It then is put in a Zip lock bags and put in the refrigerator. It needs about 7-10 days to cure.

The first step is to remove the Rind. I am not going to entertain the controversy about leaving the Rind on. Just let it be known that leaving the Rind on is just plain wrong!. Take a very, very sharp fillet knife and a towel to remove the beast. Place the belly rind down on a cutting board. With the towel grab the rind. With the other hand, take the knife and run it as close to the rind as possible. Be careful, because this is the most difficult step of bacon creation.

  1. 8 pounds of Pork Belly
  2. 2 cups of Morton's Sugar Cure
  3. 1 cup of Brown Sugar

Mix the salt and sugar together. Rub this mixture all over the bellies. Coat every inch of belly surface. Place in Plastic Zip lock bags. Put in refrigerator for at least 7 days. After several days turn bag over. You will see liquid in bag. This is normal. It just means the process is working.

You have just started to make bacon. The next step is to smoke the bacon. I will see you in a week and we will fire up the smoker.


Zoomie said...

OMG, you make your own???? Can't wait to see if you need a smoker or if a Weber will do it...

Andrew said...

I left the rind on my last batch and cut it off before I cooked the bacon-didn't seem to affect the bacon at all and now I have some smokey rind waiting to be utilized.

Zoomie said...

I just walked past the Baltic in Point Richmond and it's OPEN! but not on Mondays. Lunch and dinner. Yay!

meathenge said...

MMmM, bacon. But no fairies!

Zoomie, it's now an English pub and from what I'm told is only set up for fish/chips at the moment. Soon will be all the meat pies! The Baltic is no more ...

meathenge said...

Cut off the rind ??? I suppose you have your toast dry, as well? Throw away the gum along with the wrapper? Make gravy and not use it?

Oh, and I was the one that misinformed CB of the defunct market. When I was there it looked as he described, but there was no sign letting us know they were still in business. In fact, even the windows were papered over!

It was scary. So, was glad to find out it still exists. Am marinating flank steak with onions/bell peppers. Might even fire up the grill?


Chilebrown said...

I am sorry Andrew, I took the bait.
When you have a piece of bubble gum, do you eat the wrapper? When you are eating a tamale, do you chew on the husk. When you are having that perfect slice of smoked,slightly salty, and sweet bacon Would you serve it with a piece of bacon gum. I do not think so. Rind on is just Wrong!!!!!!!!

Andrew said...

Wait a minute-you don't eat the husks on tamales? I could never figure out why folks loved them so much!

I haven't used the rind yet (the bacon itself turned out good, or at least the kids shoved it down pretty fast). I made cracklins' with fresh rind a few weeks ago, and my wife has lived on it for the past two weeks.