You can use barley tea to smoke bacon in a pot! You don't need to buy smoking chips and can do this inside your kitchen. It is more fragrant using barley tea than the usual smoking chips or other tea leaves!
Rinse the pork belly with water. Remove any blood from the pork when cleaning. Pat dry well.
Prick all over the surface with a fork to allow it to absorb the spice well.
Combine [A] ingredients. Make sure that the amount of salt and sugar is correct. You don't have to measure the other spices precisely.
Finely shred the bay leaves and sage. Rub the [A] spice mix onto the surface of the pork belly.
Put the pork into a resealable bag and massage the meat over the bag. Rest in the fridge for 5 days to one week. Massage the meat gently once a day.
After 5 days to one week, soak the pork in water to remove the saltiness. It usually takes 1-2 hours. Slice off a small bit and fry to check the taste.
When the taste is right, pat dry. Leave to rest in the fridge for one day to dry.
After one day, prepare for smoking. Empty the barley tea from the bags.
Combine the tea and sugar. You will use this mixture instead of smoking chips.
Place empty tins in a pot. Cover the bottom of the pot with the smoking mixture. Place a metal rack over the tins. Cover with a lid and it is ready for smoking.
If you don't want to make the pot dirty, line the bottom of the pot with aluminum foil. I bought a cheap metal rack from a pound shop and cut into a suitable shape to fit in the pot.
Place the pork on the rack and start smoking. Keep the heat high until the smoke starts. When the smoke starts, turn down the heat to low and cover with a lid.
Turn over the pork halfway through and continue to smoke. It usually takes an hour but it depends on the size of the pork.
After smoking, wrap the pork in cling film and leave to rest in the fridge for one day. You can eat it without doing this.
After one day, it is ready.
You can eat as it is but I like browning the slices in a frying pan without oil.
[Note:] Fat drippings stop the smoke. Make a small saucer to place on the smoking mixture to catch the drippings.
Story Behind this Recipe
I usually drink oolong tea, but I was given barley tea bags, so I decided to use them to smoke bacon instead of smoking chips. Barley tea made a very aromatic bacon.
You can use any spices you like. I find nutmeg and cinnamon essential. You can make your own spice mix. The procedure itself is very simple. Drying the meat for 30 minutes, followed by smoking. Just after smoking, I ate the bacon while it was still hot, and it was quite good.