I just washed down from curing 3 nice slabs of pork belly.
I showed up at my source for said hunks of loveliness, and they had hogs quartered lengthwise, a few of them, laid out on the counter. The butcher eventually broke from his conversation, in chinese, long enough to help me, the lone customer checking out his case. I chose my slabs of belly and a fatty slab of beef brisket. I paid for my purchase, and when he handed me my change, I noticed that he had one gloved hand with meat-saw bits on it, and a somewhat pork-bloody hand handling my change. So if you were wondering just how unclean your change may be, let that be an indicator.
This time around, I’m going to let the belly slabs cure for a week or more again – it produced great results last time. But this time will be a maple-vibed cure. A little molasses, dark organic maple syrup, the dry cure, crushed black peppercorns, and bay leaves I bring back from Paris. And then gave them so rub-love with gloves on. They look wicked already. Next week, they will be nicely cured, firm, and ready for some resting to form a pellicle – and then they will meet smoke. There are some individuals out there who have a share in this batch, so to speak. You know who you are.