A few weeks ago, the nearly 15 year old and I experimented with making our own bacon, for the benefit of his science assessment task.
Using a recipe in Darina Allen's Forgotten Skills of Cooking, we dry cured a piece of pork belly. This essentially involved rubbing a tablespoon of rock salt and some chopped herbs into the pork and leaving it for a few weeks. That's it. It took 5 minutes of our time, tops. Too easy. Parenthetically, Darina specifies dairy salt in her recipe. What the heck is dairy salt? I couldn't find out, not that I researched it much, so I just used rock salt. Anyone out there who knows what dairy salt is?
So last night we cooked some bacon up to use in the Spaghetti Carbonara I was making for dinner. Guess what? It looked like bacon (or pancetta to be more precise), it smelled like bacon, it tasted like bacon. It's bacon. And the taste verdict from the family? Better than the bought stuff. I agree.
I never thought I'd get into smallgoods making, but I think I'll be making this bacon on an ongoing basis. Whyever not? It's so easy, and the product is delicious.