For people on the Specific Carbohydrate Diet or GAPS, finding bacon that is safe to eat is very difficult. Almost all commercial bacon has sugar and chemicals restricted on the SCD/GAPS. Salted pork bellies are a very simple solution for making a bacon-like substitute. This recipe does not require smoking, just a bit of time in the fridge.
1-2tsp sea salt, freshly ground
1 pound pastured pork belly
3T organic raw cider vinegar (optional)
Cut the belly slab into about four inch sections. Put the sections of pork belly in a glass container. For every pound of pork belly, rub on 1-2tsp sea salt. You will have to experiment with the amount of salt to use, but saltier is better. Cover and store in the fridge for at least 24-48 hours.
The salted pork belly will easily last a week or longer in the fridge. When ready to cook, cut the section you want to cook into 1/4 inch slices. Keep the other sections in the brine; liquid will naturally come out of the meat.
Place the slices into a cast iron fry pan and cook until well browned. Salted pork belly will not have bacon’s pink color but will taste almost the same. You can even salt after cooking, if desired. Remember to save the fat to use for frying. Lard from pastured hogs is a good source of vitamin D.
Just a note about the optional cider vinegar. In my experience, adding vinegar to the salted pork reduces how long it will last in the fridge. I have had mold grow after a week, something that doesn’t happen with just sea salt. If you do add cider vinegar, cook the salted pork at a lower temperature to avoid burning.
You might be wondering why I add cider vinegar with all these down sides. I read a Weston A Price Foundation article called How Does Pork Prepared in Various Ways Affect the Blood? This is a very controversial article. Some WAPF members question the science in the article, but if you have trouble digesting pork protein, you could try this technique and see if pork becomes more digestible for you. Also, this technique works on the pork protein, not the pork fat. Marinating overnight cuts of pork with more protein will work better than pork belly, which is mostly fat. Also, short marination avoids potential mold problems.