Simple ingredients; pork belly, salt, maple syrup and smoke from applewood, make for some very tasty bacon. The wood from the apple tree combined with fire produces a slightly sweet smoke. This will add a smoky perfume that will penetrate and transform a marinated piece of pork. Only four chunks of this wood will be used to smoke our belly today. It does not take a lot for this wood to work its magic.
The pork bellies were coated in a slurry of ‘Morton’s Sugar Cure’ and maple syrup. This salty sweet mix was stored in the Chilebrown ice cave for a week. Every other day the bellies were turned to insure even curing. At the end of the week the bellies were rinsed and returned to the ice cave to form a pellicle. Five hours in the smoker at 200 degrees or until the internal temperature reaches one hundred and fifty degrees and we were done.
Today’s belly was from a cross bred Duroc pig procured from Bledsoe farms. I believe the applewood played a large part in the final flavor. Smoky but not overpowering combined with maple syrup creates a flavor that can not be beat. This bacon was a salty treat. Home grown tomato’s with home smoked and cured bacon is a signature Chilebrown meal.