This began ages ago, with a local, organic pork belly that I squared off (and used the trimmings to make salt pork) then cured with salt, sugar, maple syrup, togarashi, pink peppercorns, bay leaves, and coffee for about 6 weeks. It could have gone much less, but I could not.
Smoked- along with the duck- yesterday on a nice mix of our own maple & apple wood plus grape vines, it achieved a sublime deep smokiness along with a complex sweet-spicy-porkitude that words simply will not suffice to describe. Imagine your favorite sex act on a plate, and you’ll be close. I set some thick (1/8 inch) slices to frying on Monday morning and everyone in the house (7 people) was in the kitchen drooling expectantly within a minute or two.
Having this in the fridge makes me want to use it in everything I make, although it is so good by itself I wonder if it will last long enough to get much use as a supporting player in anything. I pretty much need to go get another belly right away. Honestly, it’s like being able to microwave your own meth. And when it’s all used up, I’ll still have the skin to play with.