I am very excited for this post, why you may ask, well I am curring my own bacon. As shocked as many may be right now, knowing that I was a vegetarian for 14 years, and wondering where this idea came from. Well, there are two inspiration here. One, it was bacon that turned me over to the dark side. Two, for my birthday this year my very dear friend Helene (knowing my bacon obsession) got me this cookbook, "I Love Bacon." I was thumbing through the recipes and found it had recipes to home cure your own bacon. Needless to say I was pretty excited to try this,being a bacon enthusiast.
I decide to go with the classic cure bacon recipe for my first time around. First thing I had to do was find a butcher, I went with "Lets Meat On The Avenue" in Del Ray, VA. I pre-ordered 2lbs of pork belly two days before I was suppose to pick it up and could not wait to get it. I was also excited to check out this place after reading that they had farm fresh eggs, Amish butter, yogurt and milk among many other creamery options.
When I went to pick up the pork belly on Friday afternoon, I did not get the 2lbs I asked for, but 3 1/2lbs. YIKES!!! That is a lot of bacon. I also walked out with a dozen fresh eggs and a 1/2lb of butter.
This next part was more difficult that I would like to admit, but I feel I should pass this along for those of you who may feel inclined to cure your own meat. Hear it is, you cannot buy curring salt in any specialty spice store or specialty grocery store in the DC metro area. Which for me was a problem, since i had 3 1/2lbs of pork belly in my fridge. So, I being the resourceful girl that I am and hoping to meet a cute chef, I called a local restaurant (Resturaunt 3, in Clarendon) that I frequent, and also cures their own bacon and asked to speak to the chef. To my delight they had curring salt and were going to give me some. I picked it up first thing Saturday morning, the restaurant was not even opened yet. But I was able to find someone outside that let me in. Brian the chef was at the bar enjoying a morning cocktail when I walked it (in case some of you were wondering he was not as I was hoping for in a cute chef) but he was very nice. To my surprise I got to go back into the kitchen, it was bustling with the other chefs prepping for the days customers. Brian gave me a nice size container of the hot pink curring salt and told me if I ever needed more to let him know. When I tried to give him money he said, "Please, you are making your own bacon."
With that I was on my way back home to mix up the spices and start the currring process.