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.
André Baranowski
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.
André Baranowski
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.)
André Baranowski
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.
André Baranowski
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.
André Baranowski

Home Cured Bacon

Home curing is easy and yields a far more flavorful bacon than the store-bought kind. What's more, you can season the bacon any way you like; this recipe calls for a rub of fennel, caraway, rosemary, and thyme. See the recipe for Home Cured Bacon »André Baranowski