More from Mr Neil, Master Butcher:
Here’s the Maple Bacon, in its finished form. You can see the bits of maple sugar…they look like corn kernels.
They say the reason it’s important to have a rather tight fit in the container is to aid in the curing process. The salts draw the liquid out of the pork, then saline solution goes back into the belly through osmosis, and the process continues. So you need to have the pork in contact with the salts and cure liquid that will develop. Over the next ten days, I’ll be overhauling (mixing within bags) to ensure all goes through.
And here’s the traditional pancetta….
I used the same pancetta cure mix from before (I made enough), but added some red pepper from our trip to Basque country last summer, and a bit of fennel. Here it is: