And on the seventh day, God created bacon!
After waiting nervously for a week, today it was finally time to take the pork belly which was being patiently transformed into bacon out of the fridge for the final phase. I had been checking it every day, worried that it might have grown a mould colony in there, but all appeared to be well this morning.
I removed it from the fridge, rinsed it off and put it in the oven at 95 deg celcius for around 90 minutes. When I removed it, it had taken on that lovely pink colour, and looked..... well, it looked like bacon!
I couldn't wait for it to cool down, so I sliced some off and chucked it in a pan. How did it taste? Delicious, and full of flavour. Eating it by itself, it was perhaps a little salty, and it is also a little sweet. The sweetness I had suspected, being an american recipe. Next time I will probably halve the amount of sugar. To fix the saltiness, I will blanch the bacon before cooking. This was mentioned in the recipe I used, and appears to happen sometimes. I was unsure whether to blanch it or not this time, so I just left it. It seemed like I had rinsed enough salt off under the tap. Apparently not.
Next time I will hunt down a bigger piece of pork to use, as this one was a little thin. However it was all that was available when I bought it. It's a little hard to slice so I will take it to work and slice it on the meat slicer tomorrow! I look forward to making some panchetta next time.
PS. Sorry for the dodgy photos - we had changed the exposure settings on the camera, and I hadn't adjusted them!