Any self respecting meat-eater understands the utter enjoyment and deliciousness that is BACON
The aroma of recently cooked bacon is like a dream come true. As I write this I’m drooling a bit…
I love the taste, the texture, the smell, everything about bacon is great.
Everything that is, except for the nitrates and nitrites that all commercial bacon producers use to make their cured stuff.
Then came the report about pork products being linked (not causing mind you, but more likely correlated with) brain cancers. Now, that alone scares me…but I don’t know if I can give up my bacon.
So I decided to find a way to enjoy something like bacon, without the extra additives and without breaking the bank purchasing expensive cuts of natural pork (that I can’t find around here anyway!)
And I think I’ve hit on the perfect compromise: I went to a local butcher and asked if they had any cuts of pork belly (where the bacon comes from) – and they had something called “fresh side” – which was simply sliced belly that hasn’t been cured, seasoned, salted…in short nothing has been done to it except freezing.
I bought a couple pounds of it (I think just shy of 3 pounds) – it wasn’t expensive (off the top of my head I don’t recall the actual cost – but I do recall it being affordable)
I thawed it out, put some liquid smoke on it, sprinkled some smoked sea salt and let it “marinate” for about an hour. I put it in a pre-heated 450 degree oven and baked it in a cast-iron pan for about 20 minutes or so, until it was nice and crispy the way I like it. I dried the pieces on some paper towels and enjoyed with three eggs.
It was great! If you’re looking to try to change things up and want to avoid the unnecessary chemicals – I suggest you try this out!
What do you need:
- 1/2 pound of fresh side (ask for this at a good butcher – not at your supermarket butcher)
- 1 tbsp liquid smoke (I used hickory)
- 2 tsp of smoked sea salt
Place pork side in a bowl, add liquid smoke and sea salt and let sit for at least a half hour, preferably an hour. Place in pre-heated 450 degree oven – check every 5 minutes or so, for doneness. When one side looks almost done, flip over “bacon” pieces and finish roasting until desired doneness.