Ogan Family Bacon
(courtesy of Nancy Ogan, owner of Ogan Family Farm in Wellington. Cures 2 pork bellies)
16 cups water
4 cups salt (Redmond’s Realsalt recommended)
2 tablespoons peppercorns
1½ cups organic maple syrup
1½ cups local raw honey
2 pork bellies
Use an immersion blender to grind peppercorns and dissolve salt and honey. Combine peppercorns, salt, honey, water, and maple syrup in food-grade bucket or bin. All ingredients should be combined except pork belly. Once ingredients have been mixed, add pork bellies. Make sure all meat is completely submerged.
Use plate and Mason jar filled with water to hold meat in brine, soaking meat for 24 hours in refrigerator. After bellies have soaked, rinse them well with cool water.
Get your smoker ready with wood of choice and put bellies in smoker. Smoke meat at 200 degrees F until internal temperature of bacon is 155 degrees F. Cool, slice, and enjoy!