Curing details

(Some more details about the pork belly curing from Mr Neil, Master Butcher):

Here are the two curing mixes for comparison. Both use the Basic Dry Cure mix as a base, with slightly different proportions. Then there are various spices and sugars.

On the right, the Maple Bacon cure. It features maple sugar flakes, just a touch of bacon, one garlic clove, sugar. Fairly simple. I was intrigued that the pink salt doesn’t really show that much – you use VERY little (only 50 grams).

On the left, the Pancetta cure – looking much more exciting. Less sugar, no maple flakes. But then it features six crushed cloves of garlic, a few tablespoons of crushed juniper berries, bay leaves, eight fennel seeds, Demerara sugar, three tablespoons crushed black pepper, a teaspoon of red, pink and green crushed peppercorns, five sprigs of thyme, chopped, teaspoon of freshly grated nutmeg.

After cutting the belly into the three sections, I used a cookies tray to spread the cure out, which I would then roll the portion in to coat all sides well.

Here’s a closeup of the spices on the belly:

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