Cure Your Own Salt Pork

Two of three ingredients needed to cure salt pork - because uncooked salt pork isn't that attractive
Two of three ingredients needed to cure salt pork – because uncooked salt pork isn’t that attractive

Since the corn allergy apocalypse, I’ve been making my own baked beans and pressure canning them so they will be relatively free of corn ingredients. Except I’ve been cheating a bit *hangs head in shame* — I’ve been using salt pork from the grocery store which has dextrose and sodium erythorbate, which are corn ingredients. I figured it was only a little bit in each jar (dumb, dumb, please don’t follow my example). But after learning how to cure bacon, I thought, hey, salt pork can’t be that hard right? And then I did some Google-fu and found out that, in fact, making some salt pork would be easier than making the bacon. So I had to do it, because the cleaner I eat, the less full my allergy bucket is, and the better off I am when I have a bigger exposure to something, and the healthier I feel.

Salt Pork

  • 1 pound boneless pork belly cut into half inch thick slices, between 1-2 inches long (I removed the skin, but it’s up to you)
  • 1/2 cup kosher or non-iodized salt (the stuff they use to iodize the salt is dextrose, a.k.a. corn, get stuff with no other ingredients but salt.)
  • 2 Tablespoons cane sugar

Mix the salt and the sugar in a bowl.

Pork belly sliced into half inch thick pieces
Pork belly sliced into half inch thick pieces

Use some of the salt and sugar mixture to rub or dredge the pork belly slices.

Pork belly slices dredged in salt and sugar mixture
Pork belly slices dredged in salt and sugar mixture

In a glass, ceramic, or stainless steel container (I used Pyrex), spread a layer of the salt and sugar mixture. Place a layer of the sugar and salt coated pork belly sliced on top of the layer of the salt and sugar mixture.

Dredged pork belly slices on salt and sugar mixture layer
Dredged pork belly slices on salt and sugar mixture layer

Sprinkle more of the salt and sugar mixture on top and add another layer of pork belly slices. Continue alternating the pork and salt and sugar mixture until you don’t have any pork belly slices left. Sprinkle the remaining salt and sugar mixture over the top of the pork belly slices.

Completed layers of pork belly slices and salt and sugar mixture
Completed layers of pork belly slices and salt and sugar mixture

Cover the container with a lid or some plastic wrap and refrigerate it. The pork belly slices will be cured and ready to use in 2-3 days.

Pork belly slices after curing for 2 days in fridge
Pork belly slices after curing for 2 days in fridge

Rinse the salt and sugar mixture off of the salt pork slices. Pat them dry with a paper towel.

Salt pork rinsed and patted dry on paper towels
Salt pork rinsed and patted dry on paper towels

They are now ready to use in your beans, chowders (non-dairy of course) or stews, or you can store them in a resealable plastic bag in your freezer.

Salt pork in a resealable plastic bag ready to go into the freezer
Salt pork in a resealable plastic bag ready to go into the freezer

Enjoy!

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