When I first entered the paleo world, I was most excited about bacon. The thought of bacon being in my regular diet and not just being a treat for special occasions was mind-blowing. It quickly became my paleo drug of choice.
READ: Don’t Mess With My Bacon: The Truth About Nitrates
Make It Yourself
Unfortunately, finding bacon without a lot of added sugar and nitrates seems to require an act of a higher power. The few decent brands are often sold out and very expensive. I got tired of this reality and decided to make my own bacon. I have never looked back.
RELATED: Nitrates and Nitrites: Should We Stop Eating Bacon?
Nothing is easier than reaching in your bag after a workout and grabbing a piece of bacon. Pack a side of greens tossed in extra-virgin olive oil and you are set with a delicious, easy, on-the-go meal.
I’ve experimented many times and the recipes below are my favorites. This style of bacon does not require smoking, making it easy for the chef in all of us. The first recipe captures me with every bite and represents my Italian culture. The second version is my favorite stand-in protein that complements almost any veggie I pair it with.
2 Easy Homemade Bacon Recipes
Italian Bacon Ingredients:
- 4lb pork belly
- 1 Tablespoon each pink Himalayan sea salt, fresh crushed black pepper, and dried fennel
- 1 bay leaf
American Bacon Ingredients:
- Same as above, omitting the fennel and adding dried thyme
- Mix spices in a bowl and rub the pork belly, covering as much as possible.
- Place the herb-rubbed pork belly in a plastic bag with the bay leaf and store in the refrigerator.
- The next morning, flip the bag and put it back in the fridge. Repeat this process for seven days.
After Day 7:
- Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Rinse the pork belly and pat dry.
- Line an oven-safe pan with parchment paper and bake slowly for two hours. The internal temperature should reach 150 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Let the bacon rest a few minutes, then slice and enjoy!
When reheating, I cook the leftovers just like I would normally cook bacon. You can get your pork belly cut into strips like I show or ask for an entire slab. I prefer to grill the uncut pork belly. Follow the same method, but use the grill instead of the oven, remembering to cook low and slow until the desired internal cooking temp is met.
Photos courtesy of PaleoBOSS Lady.