Raw pork belly
The future for this pork belly is bacon.
Bacon + brine
Soon after the salt cure is applied, it draws out enough liquid to create it's own brine. A week later, the belly is cured. The brine, herbs, and spices need to be rinsed off. Then the belly dries in the fridge for about 24 hours--a dry surface helps the smoke flavour get into the meat.
Cured bacon ready for smoking
The slabs are on the barbecue, ready to be smoked. If my barbecue was bigger, I'd leave more of a gap between each--but they’ll shrink a little, so no matter.
Delicious smoked bacon slabs
Ready for slicing into rashers or cutting into lardons.
The finished product
Hmm, looks like a geology textbook. Is that a slip fault or a transverse fault? Either way, there's going to be a baconquake!
Homemade bacon, step-by step photo gallery
Homemade bacon recipe here.