I really try not to boast.
Sometimes I will be proud of something I've cooked, and say "It was tasty!"
Just as often, I'm willing to admit when a dish goes wrong, or is only so-so.
I'll say whether or not I'm intimidated by a technique. If it's easy, I'll let you know. If it's hard, well, I probably didn't even attempt it.
But homemade bacon?
See, I just knew I was going to give it a go, but after we bought the pork bellies I got nervous and stashed them in the freezer for a few months.
Cranky needed some freezer space, and said, basically, "When are we gonna do this? Now?"
I got out my copy of "Charcuterie" by Michael Ruhlman and Brian Polcyn. Believe me, I had read and reread the recipe before. Now it was time to put up or shut up.
Dang, it was easy. Trust me.
You blend some curing mixture (nothing more than sugar, salt and pink salt). Pat the proper amount all over the bellies. (Proper amount! Take note.) Pop 'em into plastic bags in the fridge for a week... and then...
Wow, you smoke 'em! For two whole hours, at 200ºF. (If you don't have a smoker, you can cook them smokelessly in the oven.)
This was the amazing part. Who knew that the little slices of raw bacon we casually fry up had already been cooked? Not I, said the little red Cookiecrumb.
It was stupendously successful.
It tastes like bacon. Not too salty, the way some of y'all's attempts seem to be (we really rinsed off the curing mixture, really well). It tastes sweet, porky, a little smoke, not too much salt... Aw, nuts. It tastes like bacon.
The best bacon I've ever tasted.
So, to all those other bacon fakers: As my man Jimmy Buffett said, "I’m gonna run every goddamn one of them off the hill!"