Good news: We raised our own pigs, on open pasture, and butchered them. I did the butchering with the help of some good guys. Read about that here.
Potentially bad news: We packed the meat in freezer paper, and put it in our chest freezer in the basement. About 175 pounds. That was over a year ago. And there’s still a lot left.
So-far, good news: The meat, as we progressively unwrap it to cure our bacon, is showing little to no signs of freezer burn or other damage! Hooray!
So I’ve been curing our bacon.
I used a basic cure you can find online… molasses, salt, pink salt (yeah, we debated the nitrite thing for a while, but finally decided the “concerns” about it are not really very concerning, and the bacon could likely be ruined without it), Sucanat (brown sugar), pepper. Ya know…
Soaked it (for 7-10 days in a ziplock.)
Smoked it on our bar-b-que grill (not as easy to control heat/smoke as I’d like, but it’s working out)… using hardwood charcoal and MESQUITE!!! (YUM!)
Once it hit about 150 degrees internal temp…
Refrigerated it, then sliced it nice and thin.
The flavor is unparalleled; and the knowledge of where it came from is complete, and satisfying. Bacon. Yum.