It spent about 8-9 days in the maple cure. I took it out of the cure, rinsed it and patted it dry with paper towel. I placed the belly on a rack in a foil lined sheet pan. According to Michael Ruhlman's book you can leave the belly this way in the fridge for up to 3 days (just make sure you cover it with plastic wrap) But Alec asked (in a worried voice) "We aren't gonna wait that long are we?" Oh HECK NO!! I prepped the belly last night and just put it in the oven this morning. It will sit in the 200 degree oven for about 2 hours or until the internal temp. reaches 150 degrees. At this point if you wanted, say, pepper bacon you could add the pepper to the belly now, before it goes in the oven. You could also smoke it if you are lucky and have a smoker. (we are still shopping for a bbq with a smoker box) Apple wood is pretty classic, you could do cherry, hickory, mesquite, etc.
By this afternoon we will have BACON!!
I realized that I forgot to post the cure recipe. It's pretty easy one.
1 lb. Kosher Salt
8 oz. granulated sugar
2 oz. pink salt (you can find at well stocked grocery stores or online, I get mine from my butcher shop)
Just mix it all together, it will keep in an air tight container forever. Depending on the size of your pork belly use around 4 oz (more or less) to completely coat it. To my recipe I also added 4 oz. real maple syrup, but you could also add garlic, pepper corns, dried herbs etc.