Beef Belly Bacon

Homemade Beef Brisket Bacon

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This is for the a recipe that called for lamb belly bacon. Lamb belly is a bit scarce (read I can’t find this anywhere!!!) on the ground here in Ansteorra (aka Texas). I can find a great many things but lamb belly so I had to make a change of bellies. I went with a beef brisket for two reasons. It is very easy to come by and the slices for “larding” means I will have slices larger then slivers if I did have a lamb’s belly for curing.

I have attempted bacon before with pork. My first try was horrible! The one of the salts I used to flavor the first side of pork rendered the pork not only to salty but tasting of dirt. I was mortified. I took a year off from curing till now to retry.

I now share with you a very simple curing recipe for a well-marbled fatty bit of belly.

 

Ingredients:

1 Cups Kosher salt

1/2-1 Cup Sugar

1 tsp pink salt (enough for 5lb slab of meat)

1 Tbs juniper berries smooooooshed.

 

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Gather your meat and salts/spices together.

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Here I used a rough grained Kosher salt, regular table, sugar, juniper berries and pink salt.

I used a beef brisket belly, from which I removed a good section of fat out of, so that I had a “flat” portion of brisket.

013The original with fat being removed.

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When I originally made this, I erred on the side of too much salt. I did a 2 to 1 of salt to sugar which is the right ratio but too much of the salt when rubbing.

Take your salts, spice and sugars and mix them together very well.

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Next rub this over your meat on both sides.

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Place in a large container. Flip the meat every day or every other day. The juice is part of the brining.

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This is actually a picture of the brisket rinsed of salt after 7 days.  It looks a little odd but it’s definitely cured.

On the 7th day, rinse all the salts/sugar/spices off the meat in cool flowing water for 20 minutes. This step is VERY important. If you don’t rinse the salt off very well, the meat will be cooked with the salt on and rendered to salty.

Place on a very low heat smoker/grill.

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I used hard wood charcoal.

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It really does have a better cooking temperature, longevity and better flavor then the regular briquettes. The grill I used is very nice…I managed to keep the temperature between 140 most of the time. Occasionally it creeped up to 200 and I had to open the dampers up to cool it off.

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The meat smoked for 5(ish) hours.

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The meat cut nicely…still not store bought then, but I didn’t need thin, I needed tasty.

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The final verdict is that the outer skin was a bit salty but very tasty.

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