Anthony’s Porkside – fantastic homemade bacon – easy ribs

HOMEMADE BACON – RIBS

To make homemade bacon you must buy a side from a butcher you know or trust. When you pick a side try and pick one with less fat = more meat = more yummy bacon.
I am going to take make this a pictorial. This will help you tackle all of the jobs with less fear.
You can search for ways using curing salt. I do not because I am trying to avoid certain chemicals. SEARCH. Or check out some YouTube videos. Here.

When you visit your butcher ask for a lean side of pork. Explain to the butcher that it is for making bacon. Parts of the side are quite “fatty” but it is BBQ season at the moment. Some of the “fatty” bacon will be used to wrap BBQ food.

ANTHONY'S PORKSIDE
Pork side 5.90€ a kilo and just over 6kg

Wash your hands, unwrap the pork side. Use your finger to find the location of the ribs.

ANTHONY'S PORKSIDE -  HOME CURED BACON - RIBS
This side has skin and the ribs intact

I start to cut around the smaller ribs first. I then rotate the meat and finish the line. This takes a little bit of skill. A sharp knife helps. If you hit something hard. Look to see if you can cut around it. After your second time of making homemade bacon this will become very easy. So relax. You can do this.

ANTHONY'S PORKSIDE -  HOMEMADE BACON - RIBS
Score a line around the ribs about 2 cm deep

This part is a bit like filleting a fish. Look at the ribs. You can usually see the ribs, meat then a layer of fat. I use the layer of fat to cut through. Once again I will say wash you hands keep your knife sharp. I would recommend buying a deboning knife if you get a chance.

ANTHONY'S PORKSIDE -  HOMEMADE BACON - RIBS
Let the knife do the work. Sharpen that knife!

Lift the meat. Small slices at a time it’s not a race. If you want “chunkier” ribs cut deeper to include more meat. At this point you have 2 pieces of meat. Ribs and Bacon.

ANTHONY'S PORKSIDE -  HOMEMADE BACON - RIBS
Ribs! and …. mmmmm Bacon!!!

Homemade Bacon – Home cured

Homemade bacon and home cured bacon is really simple.

I flip the meat over. This bacon will have the skin on it. I either score the skin with a few lines to allow the cure to work easier. This time I used squares to make it easier to be seen.

HOMEMADE BACON - HOME CURED
Score the skin.

Next I measure the meat against double lock bags. Doing this allows me to know how many bags I will need.

HOMEMADE BACON - HOME CURED
Measure against the bag size.

Sharp knife (recurring theme) and cut them in to the desired sizes slabs of bacon.

HOMEMADE BACON - HOME CURED
Portioning

Put the slabs of bacon in to the bags. (This is easier than you thought.) I prefer a bag with a double lock to prevent leaks.

HOMEMADE BACON - HOME CURED
Bag it up.

This is a method i use as it is fast and tidy. Put a measuring cup on top of the scales. Zero the scales. This way you can weigh the meat. Then weigh the salt and sugar. very quickly.

HOMEMADE BACON - HOME CURED
Set up your scales.

Weigh the bagged up pork slab.

HOMEMADE BACON - HOME CURED
Weigh the meat.

The Cure Ratio

This batch was made using regular cooking salt and ecological raw sugar.

The Maths – 1415g. Either use a calculator or use your head… 5% salt 2.5% sugar.
I use the head method..
1415 / 10 = 141 , 141 / 2 = 70.5 (i usually round this up to) 71g of salt.
71 / 2 = 35.5 (round up) 36g of sugar.

This is low salt homemade bacon. You could make it anywhere between 7.5% to 5% I know some people who make it at 10%.

If this is your first time making bacon a slightly higher amount of salt will speed up the home curing.

HOMEMADE BACON - HOME CURED
Add salt and sugar formula.

Add the salt sugar mix in to the bag. Then seal the bag shake the salt and sugar around. Massage it in to all of the sides of the bacon work it in to the cracks and where you scored the meat.

HOMEMADE BACON - HOME CURED
Massage the sugar and salt mix in. Then add additional seasoning.

You can add additional seasoning. This is where you are limited by your imagination. I will add a third of this bottle a maple syrup to this bag.

Overnight in the refrigerator.

Remove the air from the bags. Place the bacon slabs skin side down in to the fridge in a metal tray overnight. I use a metal tray because the bags can leak. This is the reason why I prefer the double seal at the top of the bags.
I put them skin down so any fluids leaked will work in to the skin area. This help work the salt in to these areas.

Fluid from the curing process. We are well on the way to making homemade bacon.

Turn the homemade bacon daily for a week. At this point the bacon slabs will be close to ready. They should have stiffened up and the salt sugar mix should have leached a lot of moisture out of the pork. If not continue to cure it for a couple more days.

Final Stages – Homemade Bacon

Wash

  • Rinse and wash the meat under running water. Remove excess salt and sugar.

Soak

  • I place the slabs of meat in to a 10L sauce pan. Fill with water. Every 20minutes change the water.

Air Dry

  • I blott dry the meat with a cleat tea towel or kitchen roll. I allow the meat to dry. This can take a few hours. The only way to speed up the process is to use a fan.

Heat

  • I use a thermometer sensor with the oven. I set the oven to 120c with fan assist. I set the thermometer to 67c which should cure and kill of any bacteria in the meat.

Stand

  • I start with air cooling and let the meat drain off any fat or juices that are coming from the meat.

Air

  • You can do this 2 ways. Stand it on a rack in a refrigerator, or hang it on a hook in a cool dark room.

Slice

  • I hand slice and square the ends of the cured meat. (I then fry this for tasting puposes.) I then set a slicer to a desired thickness. Between 2 and 3mm slices gives a nice meaty experience. 4-5mm makes a good thick bacon for a substantial breakfast.

Really Simple Ribs

Really simple ribs.
Cut between the ribs and in to any thick bits of meat.

I am not marinating them this time. Just a standard sprinkle and oven cook.

This is what i would use as a base for a typical rub or marinating.

Basic ribs rub, the sugar adds a crunch and aids with the sweet and savory balance.
Slow cook to render the fat off. My cooking time. 40 mins fan assist 150c. Allow to cool. 20 mins fan assist 200c to brown them off.