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Epic Bacon Feast
• Let's be honest, bacon is the
best. It's perfect for any time of
day or any meal. A perfect
pairing to eggs and grits for
breakfast, so crispy and salty
on your BLT at lunch, add it to
a salad or wrap it around some
filet mignon at dinner and then
crumble it over ice cream with
some salted caramel sauce for
a dessert treat.
• For this instructable, I'll show
you how I made my own
bacon from scratch, and then
added it to my version of an
Italian culinary traditional
masterpiece, known as
porchetta.

Step 1: Makin' the Bacon
Let's get started. Making your own homemade bacon is not difficult
but takes some time. I started by going to my local grocery store and
asking the butcher for a couple slabs of pork belly. When I got home I
trimmed the belly so that they were square (so when you slice it you
have equal sized slices). Most of the time, the piece of pork belly you
get from the store will have the skin on. You can try to cut it off prior to
applying the cure, but from experience, I'll tell you its easier to cut
once the smoking process is complete. Next I made the cure. I use
Brown Sugar, Salt, and Real Maple Syrup on most of my batches. I've
used BBQ rubs, and a pastrami cure as well. They came out pretty
good too. Let's say we have a slab of pork belly that is about 2lb. I
used 1/4 cup kosher salt, 1/4 cup brown sugar, and 1/4 cup of maple
syrup for my cure. Mix them together into a paste and apply cure all
over the pork belly. After the pork belly is coated with the cure place it
in a ziplock bag getting as much of the air out as possible. Place it in
the fridge and flip it over every day for 7-10 days. Flipping it over
ensure an even cure throughout the meat.

Step 1: Makin' the Bacon

Step 1: Makin' the Bacon

Step 1: Makin' the Bacon
After 7-10 days remove the cured pork belly from the fridge. Take the
pork belly out of the bag and rinse off the excess cure and dry the meat
with a towel or paper towel. Use a sharp knife (if the skin is still on) to
pierce a few holes along the top of the meat about 1 inch from the
edge. These will give you a means to hang the bacon in the smoker.
You can buy a bacon hanger online, but for the first few batches I
weaved stainless steel wire through the meat and tied them off to hang
the bacon in my smoker. I used a combination of hickory and apple
wood to infuse flavor into the meat. I then smoked the bacon for 4
hours with the heat not exceeding 100 degrees. you're not trying to
cook the bacon, you are just infusing it with delicious smoked flavor.
When the 4 hours are up, remove the bacon and let it cool. Once
cooled you can slice it and use it right away. I fried my first batch and
the whole family really enjoyed it.

Step 2: Bacon to the Max

Step 2: Bacon to the Max

Step 2: Bacon to the Max
Okay, let's take bacon to the next level. I decided to get culinary
creative for the holidays. I wanted to make the most epic, eye catching,
mouth watering masterpiece that would wow the whole family. I had a
batch of recently homemade bacon in the fridge and a couple pork
tenderloins in the freezer, so I started thinking of how I could make
"bacon wrapped pork tenderloin" bigger and better. Lightbulb!
Porchetta!

Step 2: Bacon to the Max
Porchetta is a traditional Italian food. There are many variations on
how to make it. This is how I made mine:
Ingredients:
• 1- 6lb pork belly, skin on
• 1- 2-3lb pork tenderloin
• 3 tbsp. fennel seeds
• 2tbst crushed red pepper flakes
• 2 tbsp. minced fresh sage
• 1 tbsp. minced fresh rosemary
• 3 garlic cloves
• kosher salt
• 1/2 orange, seeded, thinly sliced
• 1-2 lb bacon
• 1/2 lb panchetta

Step 2: Bacon to the Max
The first step is to lay the pork belly out and place
the pork tenderloin across the shorter of the length
or width in the center. Then roll the belly around
the tenderloin and make sure the ends meet. If
there is any overhang trim the belly until the edges
meet. Then place the loin to the side. Now you will
want to use a sharp knife to make hash marks
(grid pattern) about 1/3-1/2 inch deep into the pork
belly (skin side down). This helps the roast cook
evenly.

Step 2: Bacon to the Max

Step 2: Bacon to the Max
Toast the fennel seeds and red pepper flakes in a skillet over medium
heat for about a minute, they should become very fragrant. Let them
cool. Once cool, use a spice mill or pestle and mortar to grind the
spices. Once ground place in a bowl and add the sage, rosemary and
garlic.

Step 2: Bacon to the Max
Now flip the belly over and use a knife to poke dozens of 1/8 inch deep
holes through the skin. Flip the belly back over and use the bumpy side
of a meat mallet to pound (tenderize) the meat for 2-3 minutes. Flip the
belly over again (meat side up) and apply (generously) salt to it and the
tenderloin.

Step 2: Bacon to the Max
Rub both the loin and the belly with the spice mixture as well. Place on
a wire rack and place in the fridge, uncovered for a day to allow for the
skin to dry out. I placed a baking sheet under it to catch any moisture
from making a mess in the fridge.
Remove the roast from the fridge and wrap the loin in bacon, then top it
will pancetta slices, and then the orange slices. Preheat the oven to
500 degrees F. Wrap the belly around the loin and tie off with butcher's
twine. When the oven was up to temp, I placed a baking sheet on the
lowest rack to catch any drippings from the roast. I placed the roast on
the next lowest tier of oven racks. I roasted it like this for 40 minutes,
turning once about halfway through.

Step 2: Bacon to the Max
In the meantime, I set up my grill for indirect grilling, and soaked some
hickory chunks. At the end of the 40 minutes I transferred the roast to
the center of the grill (in the center of the 2 charcoal piles). I added a
couple chunks of hickory just to give it a slight smoky flavor. After about
1.5 hours my instant read thermometer read 145 degrees F and I
removed the roast from the grill and let it rest for 30-40 minutes. I used
a serrated knife to pierce through the tough skin and cut 1/2 inch
slices. That was no doubt, the best pork tenderloin I'd ever eaten. And
despite the high fat content of the pork belly, it was really good too. The
skin was crispy and smoky, perfect meal. And I got all the Ooos and
Ahhs when I cut in and revealed the beautiful cross section of this
masterpiece.

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