It all started with my procuring of a 4 pound Lancaster pork belly, from my buddy the butcher. "Mmm" I thought, pork belly is second only to foie gras in my hierarchy of meats.
I found Ruhlman's recipe online, then set about making the cure, and placing the belly in a plastic bag for a week.
That was a sad week.
Each day I would open up the fridge to find the belly staring at me with puppy eyes, begging me to braise it and devour it right away. That week put me in touch with animal lovers across the world. I practiced composure and restraint until it was time to remove the belly.
I roasted, not smoked, the meat- smoking wasn't convenient at the time. Though bacon connoisseurs may scoff, I beg them to taste.
This bacon is much more than salty, fatty, heaven. The flavors of thyme, bay, and peppercorn, rarely detectable in bacon, harmonize to create ultra-flavorful, multi-dimensional meat, that is yes, salty, fatty, heaven as well.
I did not make all of the belly into bacon however. Half is dry-curing to become pancetta. Updates on that in the future!
ALERT: For the next few days, maybe even a week, my attention will be devoted to writing about my recent meal at Per Se.
Yes, I went back.