Home cured bacon and Pigs' Ears recipesFrom a BBQ wesbite thread on makin' bacon:
Start with fresh pork bellies. I cured mine in batches about 2 pounds each with the skin still on but the ribs removed. These are modified from the book Charcuterie by Ruhlman & Polcyn and by no means perfect. Feel free to add to the recipe and make it better.
Maple Cured Bacon
Trim your belles so they are pretty square. Mix 1/4 cup Morton Tenderquick with 1/2 cup of maple syrup (at this point i did add some honey and brown suger too). Mix it up and put in a nonreactive container (I use ziploc bags. See below the garlic recipe for further instructions.
It takes around 1/4 cup for a large chunk, but what is needed it taking Morton Tenderquick and Laying the peice on it. Then take the peice and do it on all the surfaces . Tap it lightly anthing that stays on is enough. Then add 4-6 crushed garlic cloves, 2 tablespoons of crushed peppercorns, and two crushed bay leaves. Spread the mixture over the belly and add to the bag.
Put bags in the fridge and flip every other day for 7 days.
Remove and rinse the bellies.
Let them air dry (I skipped this last time due to being in a hurry still turned out good).
Fire up the smoker. I used two midsized (slighlty less than baseball sized) chunks of apple.
Smoke them till they reach 150 degrees. I did mine at a lid temp of 200 degrees.
Pull off the smoker and remove the skin while they are still hot. Slice off a bit and sample your creation!
This book recommends frying a small peice to see if it's too salty. If you think it is it recommends blanching the bacon in simmering water for 1 minute to reduce the saltiness.
Fry the bacon. If your cure had a lot of sugar such as the maple cured or honey you wil want to fry your bacon on a lower heat so the sugar doesn't burn.
And one for "Galician Pigs' Ears" from a U.S. transplant to Spain:
Here we go, pigs' ears for four. Good, cheap eatin´.
2 pigs' ears
1 sprig parsley
Virgen olive oil
Hot paprika, preferably the smoked Spanish kind. (If you only have sweet paprika, add some cayenne to it.)
Cover the ears, the onion and the parsley with water. Cook in a pressure cooker for about 12 minutes from the time steam starts to come out of the valve or, if you're using a regular pot, for about 30 minutes from the time the water starts to boil.
Take the ears out of the pot and cut them in two-inch strips. Serve them (traditionally on a wooden plate) sprinkled with some of the Kosher salt, the paprika and the olive oil.