There are quite a few recipes for making your own bacon on the internet. A lot of them involve sugar. Some of them don’t. A lot of them have ingredients that I can’t get here in Spain. So on my third attempt at making bacon, I decided to go with my own collection of spices, and leave out the sugar or maple syrup as well.
And you know what – it works! I know it looks like a lot of ingredients, but they are all spices that you probably have hanging out in your cupboard.
* Special thanks to my fantastic butcher who sliced the complete project for me!
- 1.2 kilo hunk of pancetta with the skin removed (pork belly)
- 2 teaspoon paprika
- 1 teaspoon allspice
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon garlic
- 1 teaspoon smoked salt
- 1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
- 1/2 teaspoon ginger
- 1/2 teaspoon white pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
- Rinse and pat dry the pancetta/pork belly.
- Mix all the spices together.
- Put the pancetta into a large sealable plastic bag that is still big enough to get your hand into. Spoon the spices into the bag and, using your hands, smear the pancetta with the spice mix all over.
- Seal the bag, squeezing out as much air as possible, and stick it in the fridge.
- Wait about 7 days. (I know, that’s the hard bit. If you remember, pull the bag out halfway thru the 7 days and flip over. Tip: I went to Sardinia for 4 days so it didn’t feel like such a chore to wait so long. I highly recommend that!
- A lot of the recipes suggest rinsing the spices off before ‘cooking’, but I like the combination of spices so I decided to leave them on.
- This is where a smoker would be handy, but let’s face it, not everyone has one of those.
- Stick the bacon on a wire rack over a baking tray in the oven for about 2.5 hours at about 100 C or 200 F.
- Allow to cool, and then take a trip back to the butchers to get them to slice the bacon into nice perfect slices with their fancy machine. Or slice it yourself – I just don’t have a decent knife!