Molasses Black Pepper Bacon
ACTIVE TIME: 10 minutes
TOTAL TIME: 3 days 5 hours 28 minutes
Yield: 1 pound
- 1 cup kosher salt
- 3/4 cup sugar
- 2 fluid ounces molasses
- 1 pound pork belly
- 2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
In a small bowl, combine the salt and sugar. Spread molasses evenly over the pork belly, then coat with the pepper. Spread the salt and sugar mixture generously over the entire slab. Place into a large zip-top plastic bag, set in a leak-proof container, and refrigerate for three days.
After three days have passed, remove the pork from the brine, rinse the belly, and pat dry with paper towels. Lay on a wire rack over a half-sheet pan and place in front of a fan for 1 hour to form a pellicle (thin skin). Lay the pork in the protein box of a cold smoker and smoke for 4 to 6 hours. Chill the meat in the freezer for 1 hour to stiffen for easy slicing into strips of bacon. Slice what you need and keep the remainder in a freezer-safe bag in the refrigerator or freezer.
Place the strips of bacon on a half-sheet pan fitted with a wire rack and place into a cold oven. Turn the oven to 400ºF and cook for 12 to 15 minutes, depending on how crispy you like your bacon. Remove from rack and drain on paper towels. Enjoy.