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A MARIO BATALI RECIPE

Homemade Bacon


Ingredients

Makes 2 pounds

Garlic
Pancetta
Salt

1 teaspoon pink salt (also called Prague Powder No. 1)

2 tablespoons kosher salt

1/4 cup freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/4 cup pure, grade A maple syrup

6 cloves garlic, smashed

3 tablespoon crushed juniper berries

10 sprigs fresh thyme, roughly chopped

1 (2-pound) piece raw, uncured pork belly, skin removed (ask your butcher for the thickest piece available)

Directions

In a bowl, stir together the pink salt, kosher salt, pepper, nutmeg, maple syrup, garlic, juniper, and thyme and mix well to make a paste. Place the pork belly on a cutting board and massage all over with the paste, making sure that the paste covers the entire surface of the pork belly. Place in a zip-top bag, seal, and refrigerate for 7 days.

 

Preheat your smoker or grill to 225°F.

 

Remove the pork belly from the bag, rinse off the curing paste, and pat dry. Place the pork belly in the smoker or grill and cook until it registers 155°F on a meat thermometer, 90 to 120 minutes, then remove and let cool. Your bacon is ready to eat. You can slice it and fry it like store-bought bacon, happy in the knowledge that yours is better. Wrap it tightly in plastic wrap and store in the fridge for up to 3 months.

 

Click here to learn more about this dish!

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