The recipe calls for a number of things that may be hard to find ... Shaoxing wine or dry sherry to start with. But we plan to substitute a dry white wine in its place since that is what those actually are. The Sichuan peppercorns maybe a problem too. They have a unique flavor, but even traditional black peppercorns should serve here. Not exactly the same flavor, but better than not making at all! Then everything else is do-able. Well, everything except for the Pink Cure they call for. Remember, do not use Pink Salt if you do not know if it is #1 or #2! What to do? Bacon Cure #1 to the rescue!
The original recipe calls for:
- 3 pounds pork belly, skin on or off
- 1/2 cup Shaoxing wine or dry sherry
- 1/2 cup kosher salt --- Won't Need with Bacon Cure #1
- 4 tablespoons brown sugar - Use 2 tablespoons of Muscovado!
- 2 tablespoons Sichuan peppercorns, ground - Substitute
- 1 tablespoon cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon ground cloves
- 5 star anise pods, crushed
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
What about the cure? Easy - 3 pounds of pork belly means 3 level tablespoons of Bacon Cure #1. You won't need to add Kosher Salt, but you can add the brown sugar, probably just 2 tablespoons of dark brown sugar will do. Or even Muscovado since you will rinse it off before cooking.
Make your mixture, add the wine, then rub over all the pork belly. Put in a tightly sealed plastic bag and place in your refrigerator. Turn it over once every day or two. One week - seven days, and it will be done. Be sure to rinse it off well, particularly if you used Muscovado brown sugar!
Try slicing a bit off and frying it to check the saltiness. If it is saltier than you like, simply soak the bacon slab in cool water for 1 hour. Try the taste test again. If you want even less salt taste, change the water and soak another hour. Two hours with one water change removes most of the saltiness. We often do it for one hour or not at all. But that is the beauty of making your own bacon! You can do it so it tastes just right to you.
Love, Peace, & Bacon Grease!