Makin’ Bacon with Chef Rusty Bowers of Atlanta’s Pine Street Market
October 2, 2013
Earlier this summer I traveled to Georgia for the Atlanta Food & Wine Festival, the ultimate celebration of Southern food and culture. In between countless tastings and cooking demos conducted by many of the South’s best barbecue cooks and professional chefs, I sat down with Chef Rusty Bowers of Pine Street Market in Atlanta to discuss one of my favorite topics – bacon – in between some very, very tasty pickled vegetables, terrines and so on and so on.
Here’s a quick video with Rusty as he explains how they cure and slow smoke the pork belly pictured in the image above as well as his recipe for the cure.
House Cured and Smoked Bacon
Recipe Courtesy of Chef Rusty Bowers of Pine Street Market
(makes approximately 10lbs of bacon)
One full pork belly (available at many butcher stores, from local and online pig farmers and ethnic markets)
4 oz kosher salt
8 oz dark brown sugar
1 tsp pink salt
1. Skin the belly, if needed, and cut horizontally to make two equal pieces. Rub with the dry cure (a combination of the Kosher salt, brown sugar and pink salt), place into a large plastic zipper bag, and stack them on top of each other in a casserole dish or plastic container. Put it in the fridge.
2. Every day or so flip the belly and make sure the liquid gets evenly spread. Cure for 8 days.
3. Rinse the belly in cool water and return to the fridge uncovered for one day.
4. Cold smoke them to an internal temp of 140 degrees (I use a probe themometer) for 7-8 hours. I use a mix of Applewood chips and Pecan or Oak chips but most hard woods will do.
5. Cool the bellies to below 35 degrees and then slice. The bacon will keep in the fridge for 3 weeks or freeze for 6 months.
Thanks, Chef, and I’ll definitely see you again during my next visit to Atlanta!
- Clint Cantwell, Grilling.com Editor