On an impulse the other day, I picked up some skin-on pork belly from the store. I've been thinking about making bacon for a while now, and sometimes you just have to jump in and do it. My initial internet search for a recipe yielded many calling for pink salt, which I soon learned is sodium nitrate. I wanted to avoid using nitrates, having heard this is possible. What happened was, not finding any recipes without pink salt I called up those local meat rock stars, Fleisher's to see if they carried pink salt. I believe it was one of the owners that got on the phone to school me about the pink salt, and how I didn't need it. He went on to give me the full recipe, quickly and brusquely, just how a butcher should. I am indebted and next time will certainly purchase the pork belly from them. Embarrassingly, I admitted it wasn't their meat I was using, and he still helped me. Those people are awesome. You should be a fan on Facebook because they are very funny, to boot.
Anyway, after all that, I dug a little deeper and found this recipe from Saveur. It's great and simple. I messed with the spices a little, and next time I will definitely use brown sugar. You can use sea salt, but I think a coarse grind is what you want. I baked the bacon for four hours, as opposed to the recommended two. I would stick with that, but it's up to you. I will use the smoker one day, too. The bacon came out sublime, a wee bit salty, and with the herbs I used, very much like breakfast sausage. My slab was almost a pound and a half. We ate half for breakfast this morning. I am looking forward to using the rest as lardons with some greens. Heaven!