Making Home Cured Bacon

Step 1
Trim pork belly to square off its edges. Rinse the pork, pat it dry, and transfer it to large sheet of parchment paper.
Step 2
Measure out salt, sugar, black peppercorns, fennel seed, caraway seed, rosemary, thyme, and bay leaves and coarsely grind in a spice grinder. In a bowl, combine garlic with spices and set aside.
Step 3
Rub seasonings all over pork. Transfer pork and any excess spices to a 1-gallon resealable plastic bag and seal, shaking the bag to distribute the seasonings. Refrigerate for 7 days on a sheet tray, flipping the bag every other day. (Some brine will accumulate in the bag as the salt draws water from the pork.)
Step 4
After 7 days, the bacon should feel firm to the touch. Remove bacon from the bag and thoroughly wash off the spices under cold running water. Pat bacon dry with paper towels.
Step 5
Heat oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit. Transfer bacon to a 9 x 13 baking pan and roast until meat is lightly browned and an instant-read thermometer inserted in the center reads 150 degrees Fahrenheit, about 2 hours.

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