Hunting really has nothing to do with my post. But pig does. More specifically, bacon.
I am kind of feeling like a new mother these days. You know the one. With the wallet inserts that unfold into three miles of pictures of Perfect LittleTimmy.
We AAALLLL know about Perfect Little Timmy.
I have a Little Timmy (don't freak out, mom - I promise I'll explain...)
I had found a couple of bacons that were not treated that I could handle. But they were kind of pricey. And at 6$ plus for a half pound, I could say "no thanks". It was a bit of a bummer to my bacon loving self. So when I came across a recipe for bacon in the "Salt" section of Ruhlman's Twenty, my interest was definitely picqued. Except, I couldn't find the pork belly. Or the curing salt (at least not right away).
My Baby Timmy started out as six pounds of pork belly. Let me tell you, getting my hands on this pork belly was kind of like giving birth - a real pain... (at least in the figurative sense, if not the literal). I think I visited ten different butcher shops to no avail. I finally started picking up the phone and calling.
There was a real "a ha" moment. Duh, Cher. Finally found someone who had it. Of course, it just happened to be the local mom & pop shop five minutes from where I work - not the fancy schmancy butcher in the suburbs twenty minutes from where I work. Lesson learned.
As noted - getting my hands on the pork was the hardest part. Step 2 - rub the seasonings into the belly and toss into a ziploc bag. Seal. Turn & rub every couple of days.
After cooling, everything was sliced up into strips & lardons and thrown in the freezer. And with the winter cooking season upon us, I am sure it won't be too long until I find myself starting another batch.
And that, my friends, is the story of my bacon. Now that I have this out of my system, I will try to refrain from Tweeting about bacon or pulling out my sleeve full of "Perfect Little Timmy" pictures. I said I'd try - I can't promise you I will be successful, because my foray into curing has kind of put the urge in me to try future projects (as long as I can find someone who wants to eat it - 'cuz I am not so much interested in eating them as I am in learning the process).
I think I am going to go now. If you are a glutton for making the people around you wonder what planet you are from, you may want to check out Ruhlman's site & give it a go. I got a few strange looks on this one - but maybe it was just me. (I think I noticed the sideways glances too). But at the end of the day, I get to say (drum roll please) that I'm bringing home the bacon...