Let's get things straight before we kick things off. Many of us (including yours truly) have always felt that the moment we hear or read anywhere in the menu of 'Bacon', it's not halal or it's pork. The fact is, 'Bacon' is about the process used to curing the meat and not referred to any animal or parts. Most of the time, a curing additives are added to the meat, cure it for a couple of days before smoking and storing the finished products. Cured meats or cured bacon can last up to 2 weeks in the chiller and 8 months in a freezer. With that out of the way, let us share on how we make our very own bacon.
Which Cut is Most Suited for Making Bacon
Bacon are normally associated with anything that is unhealthy and the fact is, the best thing about bacon are the fats associated with it. For beef bacon, the best part to start your very own bacon adventure is the Brisket Navel-End. This is the belly cut and not to be confused with Brisket Point-End which is the leaner cut. While there is no stopping on which cut you would prefer for the health conscious, we can't think of any other suitable cut that we would use to make this.
The next essential ingredient to make this work is Prague Powder or Curing Powder #2 which is available in our Spices section. Be reminded that Curing Salt contains nitrates and when added to meat during curing, it converts to nitric oxide, thus it should not be used in excess. As a general measurement, only 1 teaspoon is needed for 1.5kg of meats.
This is where it gets interesting. There is generally no guideline to how to want your bacon to taste like. Be bold in your flavors when using spices but for those who want to play safe, stick to trusted flavors such as black pepper, paprika, ground coriander. If you want to add some smoky flavor, you can add liquid smoke to the meat during the cooking process (unless you're using a smoker).
The curing process takes from 3-5 days and place in a refrigerator; turning it every day to ensure that the liquid are spread out on the meat. After which, on the last day when you decide to smoke/baked it, rinse everything thoroughly to ensure that all the salt are being washed off.
Let's face it, most of us do not have the luxury of a smoker at home. Thus the next best thing is to use an oven. We set our temperature to 100°C and bake it for around 2.5 to 3 hours to reach an internal temperature of around 65°C - 70°C. Chill overnight and the next morning, you will have your very own home-made beef bacon.