- 5 Lb slab of Pork Belly- skin on is best
- 2 TBSP black pepper
- 1 teaspoon fennel seed
- 1 teaspoon caraway seed
- 1 TBSP dried rosemary
- 1 TBSP dried thyme
- 4 bay leaves
- 1/3 cup of fine sea salt
- 1 TBSP Garlic powder
As promised earlier in the week here is another tip for all my fellow Lurong Challengers new to Paleo nutrition. Whenever you cook bacon, you know the high quality, sugar free, uncured variety, SAVE THE GREASE!!! This is like liquid gold, which is exactly what it looks like when it’s hot and you pour it in to your container for saving.
Recommendations on how to cook bacon, how to save the grease, how to store it all vary. You can bake it, you can fry it up fast, you can fry it up slow, you can even microwave it(well I can’t due to a freak fire that recently occurred in and totalled our microwave- I’ll be blogging about that in a later tip)… What I do is:
- Fry the bacon over medium/low heat
- Turn frequenty until crispy
- Run to reset the hypersensitive smoke alarm that wakes my children most mornings
- Pull the bacon and place it on some paper towels to drain the extra grease (it’s really more to cool so I don’t burn the roof of my mouth eating it straight from the pan.)
- Let the pan and bacon grease cool a bit. It doesn’t need to be a long time, maybe 10-15 minutes while you do other things. This will prevent the vessel you pour it in to from cracking, and you from burning yourself. I have cracked many a glass container pouring the super hot grease straight in to them so I can use the residue in the pan to fry eggs- I probably still will- but I’m putting the warning out there.
- You can store the grease in anything. Plastic isn’t ideal because it will likely be hot when you pour it in. Glass works ok, tempered glass is better. I find that stoneware containers are perfect- I use little spice bowls and just stack them in my fridge. I have memories of my grandma using a coffee can. Do what works for you…
Why save the grease? Because in paleo nutrition you are supposed to focus on high quality oils. Coconut oil, olive oil, walnut oil, avocado oil…. These bad boys can get expensive. I’m happy to use them when necessary but when I’m browning meat or frying up eggs or even roasting vegetables nothing is better than a little bacon fat. It tastes awesome and you’ve already paid for it:)
OK, so about bacon…. We have been making ours lately. This has been good for a number of reasons. Somehow when I see the time that it takes I think of it as precious. I actually am mindful as I cook and eat it, I find that 1-2 slices is actually the perfect sized portion. I can flavor it however I want. And…. that sugar free bacon every once says you must eat if following strict paleo protocol- it’s hard to find and super pricy. So….. Try making it, you’ll be happy you did!
This recipe is based off of Saveur with a few modifications:
- Pull out two large ziploc baggies
- Combine all of your spices in a mortar and pestle or a spice/coffee grinder and process until fine
- Take your pork belly and cut it in half
- Rub the spice mix all over the belly including the sides
- Place one piece of belly in each ziploc
- Place in the fridge and turn once per day for at least a week, no longer than 10 days. I did 7 the first few times, life got busy this time and I waited 9…
- Remove the pork belly from the bags and rinse off all spices
- Pat the pork belly dry
- Place in either a smoker or an oven at 200 degrees.
- Roast/smoke the pork until internal temp of 150 degrees has been reached(we smoked ours this time but have also done it in the oven and it was great as well)
- Allow the pork to cool and place in the refrigerator until thoroughly cooled(it will be easier to slice…)
- Remove the skin and slice with the grain to desired thickness
- You can freeze the bacon for months (yeah right) or refrigerate it for one week.
- tip- when freezing the bacon I lay out individual slices on cookie sheets until frozen then bag them together.
Do it, DO IT!!! This is easier than you’ve ever imagined. The hardest part is sometimes finding pork belly. Turns out that our local whole foods usually has it, but they hide it in the back. Don’t be afraid to ask.
Have you made bacon? Any flavor ideas? I’m thinking something spicy next time like Jalapeno Onion…..