Last weekend, on a visit to San Francisco, I witnessed cookbook author and food writer Michael Ruhlman show a roomful of bloggers at the California Culinary Academy how to cure bacon. Yup, at home. And yes, it's surprisingly easy.
Since I know bacon lovers abound (who cares if bacon is on its way out?), I wasn't about to keep Ruhlman's method all to myself. Here, for your enjoyment, is how to make your own ready-to-be-pan-fried perfection.
Step 1: Ruhlman seasons a slab of pork belly with a mixture of pink curing salt, salt, pepper, crushed bay leaves, garlic, rosemary, nutmeg, brown sugar, juniper berries, and thyme.
Step 2: Place the pork belly in a plastic zipper bag or on a tray covered with plastic wrap and refrigerate for seven days.
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Step 3: Remove the cured pork belly from fridge, rinse it to remove the spices, and pat dry.
Step 4: Place the pork on a tray and put it in the oven at 200° F for an hour and a half. Remove and let cool.
Voila! The bacon is ready to cook. Take his word for it -- you'll never
want store-bought bacon again. For exact measurements, visit Ruhlman's blog.