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Bacon for the Modified Atkins Diet for Seizures

1 5-lb. slab pork belly with rind

5 cloves garlic crushed

3 tablespoons salt

2 tablespoons turbino sugar OR = stevia to taste

2 tablespoons coursely ground black pepper

4 bay leaves crumbled

4-5 springs fresh thyme

Trim pork belly so edges are square, but leave the rind on.  Combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well.

Rub mix into pork belly, place in a large plastic ziplock bag and seal.  Put in the refrigerator for one week, turning every day or two.

Remove belly from bag, rinse well and pat dry with paper towels.

Finishing in the oven (an alternate to smoking):

Preheat oven to 200 degrees F.  Place belly on rack on a baking sheet. Roast until it reaches internal temperature of 150 degrees F, about 2 hours.  (begin checking temp. after about 1 hour).

Modified Atkins Diet for Seizures Bacon

Smoking Guidelines-

You can smoke the meat on any type of BBQ , grill or smoker.  The main thing is to maintain a temperature of no less than 140 degrees F. and no greater than 160 degrees F.   Smoke meat no longer than 2 hours, but begin checking internal temperature after 45 minutes.   The meat should not be on direct flame.  The smoker box should be placed over the heat source.  We like to use applewood chunks, but you can use different woods for different flavors.  The chips burn too quickly, so be sure to use chunks instead, and soak them for 12-24 hours.  Add a pan of water next to smoker box to maintain moisture. Don’t worry, it’s not rocket science. The main point is to be sure the meat is not directly on top of any flame.  For more detailed information, search the internet for a plethora of smoking options.

Modified Atkins Diet for Seizures MAD Pork Belly Bacon

While fat is hot, slice off pork rind.  Cool to room temp.  Wrap well.   Refrigerate until chilled (we actually put it in the freezer until just firm which helps with even slicing). Can be kept in the refrigerator for up to 2 weeks or cut into slices or chunks, wrapped well and frozen for 3 months.

 

Modified Atkins Diet for Seizures Bacon

We use this groovy meat slicer that my mom just passed down to me, which works really well other than the huge cleaning production required after all the bacon is sliced.  We have also sliced it by hand, but it is much more difficult to keep the slices consistent.

 

Notes:

Above cure mix is just a suggestion.  You can play with sweet or savory mixes.  Our current favorite is adding fresh lemongrass and lemon thyme in the mix.  We have also made a cure of cloves, allspice, cinnamon and cardamom which took on a sweet breakfast taste.

We have omitted the Sodium Nitrate, which is said to keep the pork a rosy color, and to add a nice tang.  We think this recipe tastes as good as any bacon we have ever tried, and therefore worth the omission.

You can use the belly after it has been cured, but not smoked, as you would an Italian pancetta therefore eliminating the need to smoke the meat.

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