Our good friend Sarah visited us over Christmas and came armed with all sorts of great stuff to eat, including her latest batch of homemade bacon.
Now, in an attempt to reverse the effects of the sheer volume of pork products we got through over the festive break, we’ve decided to go vegetarian for January. More on that later of course.
So, as a last hurrah to 2012, I got Sarah to send over the basic recipe she followed which is itself based on a recipe by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall.
The skill is to cure the meat thoroughly, but without making it too salty, which I think she achieved nicely here. So, you’re left with the satisfaction of homemade bacon without the added water and added preservatives.
There are many versions out there but the basic method followed was:
Take a suitably sized piece of belly pork with the loin still attached. Score and pierce the rind and rub in plenty of salt, paying attention to the nooks and crannies. Leave it on a rack for 24 hours with a plate underneath in a cool place (but not the fridge).
Water will be drawn out of the meat into the plate so pour it away and reapply the salt.
Repeat for about 5 days.
After that, rinse the salt off thoroughly. Sarah said she soaked the meat for a couple of hours to help keep the saltiness down. Leave to dry.
It’s then ready to slice – she has a home slicer which makes it much easier! Of course there are other cures with ketchup, brown sugar, berries etc to experiment with.