I give credit to David Leite for this recipe. This is the most expensive bacon I have ever made because I used Berkshire (Kurobuta) pork belly. I normally wouldn't spend this much on bacon but it was on my bucket list along with skydiving over the Alps. I chose the bacon first since it is less expensive and safer. lol
I cold smoked using apple-wood pellets in my A-Maze-N smoker tube that works fantastic. The result is a very nice mahogany color on the rind and a nice smoke ring. The bacon cooks up well with very little shrinkage and tastes fantastic. The amount of saltiness and smoke was just right for my taste. High end pork belly isn't required obviously but I just had to try it.
• 5 to 6 pounds skinless Berkshire (Kurobuta) pork belly
• 1/3 cup dark brown sugar
• 1/3 cup maple syrup
• 1/3 cup kosher salt
• 1/3 cup instant espresso powder
• 1 teaspoon pink salt, also known as Prague Powder #1 or Curing Salt #1 (1 tsp. per 5 lbs. of meat)
• 2 tablespoons freshly ground black pepper
• Water to thin rub
• Apple-wood for smoking
1. Rinse and pat dry the pork belly. Square up as needed.
2. In a bowl, mix the brown sugar, maple syrup, salt, espresso powder, curing salt, pepper, and enough water to make a sludgy mess.
3. Generously coat the belly with the rub and place in a Ziploc bag. Place in refrigerator to cure for 7-10 days flipping daily.
4. After curing, remove from bag, rinse, pat dry, place on rack in refrigerator for 24 hours. This will dry out the belly and leave a pellicle (tacky) surface for the smoke.
5. Cold or hot smoke to your preference for 3-6 hours.
6. Chill in refrigerator before slicing.