Pepper crusted bacon
I love black pepper and really enjoy pepper crusted bacon. I have been looking for a method to make this at home since I’m already making bacon, and was peeling the skin off a smoked belly when it hit me. When the belly is hot it’s covered in a thin layer of hot fat which acts an adhesive, so anything you rub into it at this stage will stick to it when the bacon cools down. This sounds incredibly obvious now but it never occurred to me.
I cracked about a quarter cup of black peppercorns and pressed them into a freshly smoked hot five pound pork belly (actually about 4 pounds not that it was cured and smoked). I then wrapped the whole thing and let it cool in the refrigerator for a day. I sliced up some thick pieces and the bacon stayed on nicely, losing a few peppercords in the frying process. Wonderful stuff.