My friend Nathan invited me over to give him a hand curing some bacon. He found a great deal on pork belly from a Korean restaurant supply store, ~$1.75/lb, so he bought a full 12 lb cryovaced slab. 2 lbs of it was added to a batch of sausages we made to increase the fat/meat ratio.
We split the remaining 10 lbs into three slabs so we could make three different flavors. Each slab was first dredged in a basic dry cure of kosher salt (1 lb), dextrose (13 oz), and pink salt (3 oz) (recipe from Charcuterie by Ruhlman and Polcyn).
The first slab got some extra turbinado sugar for a standard sweet bacon that should be perfect with breakfast. The second slab was coated with a great pastrami spice mixture from Schwartz's in Montreal. The third slab got a savory paste of garlic, fresh rosemary, and black pepper.
Each slab was then transferred into its own 1 gallon ziploc bag with as much of the air squeezed out as possible. They will sit in the refrigerator for 1 week, I will flip each one once a day. During this time the salt will help to pull moisture out of the meat while seasoning the meat and drawing the added flavors in. The pink salt (sodium nitrate) helps to defend the cure from botulism (a bad fermentation) and will keep the meat a pretty pink color.
Next weekend I will clean off the cure and dry the meat overnight in the refrigerator. Once it is dry I'll either hot smoke it or cook it in a 200 degree oven for about 3 hours. It will then be ready to slice, fry/bake, and eat. Most of the bacon will be kept in the freezer where it will last well for at least 6 months.