Thanks to a question this weekend, I was reassured about what Nitrate burn is. Anyways, This was a test of the Hampshire bellies I bought from an online retailer out of Iowa that sells only heritage Hampshire pork from small farms. I wanted to try something a step up from the local asian markets that sell netherland or mexico pork belly, and with the skin on, is now running about $4/lb. I got what I felt was a great deal for 9-11 lb bellies skinless for $60. I was even more surprised when the four bellies were nearly totaling 48 lbs. The last 4 skin on bellies I bought were about 28 lbs for four. with about 5 lbs of skin.
I did the first one using high mountain bacon cure, and cold smoked for ten hours over cherry in an amns.
Sliced them up today, and had to have a few test pieces which were outstanding done in the Cherry. Looking forward for them to age a bit. These bellies had a bit more fat content, which I'm happy with. The netherlands pork I've been getting is so lean, I have to add fat when I cook the bacon. This belly yielded 12 lbs plus 5 slices, and a bit more than a pound of ends and pieces.
I have the other three bellies in cure, and now I'm going to have to do them in batches, because I really like applewood smoked as well, and there always needs to be some hickory. That will be on my agenda next weekend.