Molasses Black Pepper Cure
Recipe courtesy Alton Brown
1 cup salt
3/4 cup sugar
2 ounces molasses
2 tablespoons coarse ground black pepper
1 pound pork belly
In a small bowl, combine salt and sugar. Spread molasses evenly over pork belly, then coat with the pepper. Spread the salt and sugar mixture generously over the entire slab. Place into a re-sealable plastic bag and refrigerate for 3 days.
After three days have passed, remove the pork from the brine, rinse the belly, and pat dry with paper towels. Lay on a rack over a sheet pan and place in front of a fan for 1 hour to form a pellicle. Lay the pork in the protein box of a cold smoker and smoke for 4 to 6 hours. Chill the meat in the freezer for 1 hour to stiffen for easy slicing into strips of bacon. Slice what you need and keep the remainder in a freezer safe bag in the refrigerator or freezer.
Place the strips of bacon onto a sheet pan fitted with a rack and place into a cold oven. Turn the oven to 400 degrees and cook for about 12 to 15 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your bacon. Remove from rack and drain on paper towels. Enjoy.
Yield: 1 pound cured pork belly
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Inactive Prep Time: 3 days, plus 8 hours
Cook Time: 15 minutes