Bacon-Wrapped Bacon

Recipe courtesy Chef Matt Kershaw, The Alex, Burlington


2 lbs unsliced pork belly, skin off

2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh thyme

 2 tbsp (30 mL) minced garlic

 2 tbsp (30 mL) orange zest

1 tbsp (15 mL) black pepper

coarse kosher salt as needed

duck fat (or olive oil) as needed

thinly sliced high quality smoked bacon

Combine thyme, garlic, zest and pepper. Rub over meatier side of belly. Liberally sprinkle coarse salt over top. Leave, uncovered, in fridge for 24 hrs. Brush off the cure from belly and transfer to an oven-proof dish with deep sides. Cover with duck fat (or oil). Place in 325°F oven for three hours. Check intermittently to make sure heat is not too high; bubbles should be very slowly rising. Remove from fat (save for another delicious use). Chill for at least three hours. Slice belly into generous chunks and wrap both ways snugly with smoked bacon. Brown on all sides until crispy on the outside and luscious on the inside. If it seems like too much work, just come to the Alex.