How to make your own bacon at home without a smoker : our new delicious sweetcure recipePosted by Fiona Nevile in Pork Ham Bacon Sausages, Preserving | 10 comments
If you haven’t tried curing your own bacon at home, please give it a go. It’s so easy. You will be eating superb bacon for a fraction of the cost of even the cheapest, nastiest tasting unhappy pig bacon available.
You can also control the levels of salt – Danny has high blood pressure so commercially produced bacon is a bit of a no no. And unless you inject your bacon with preservatives, you will get no white residue to alarm you. With homemade bacon at the helm you can actually Make Friends and Influence People without having to lay out for the book.
I’m constantly playing around with recipes but not our bacon. Our standard recipe is fine but surely could be tweaked and played with too? So last week I added some light Muscavado sugar to the mix and left out the molasses. The result was exceptionally good, the taste more complex and satisfying than our standard recipe. I can’t wait to start experimenting more!
We have also discovered that leaving the bacon to soak for seven days, rather than four, the bacon tastes better and lasts longer. Both recipes are for bacon with a lower salt content than normal bacon. Once cured, it will last in the fridge for about a week or so, wrapped in a clean tea towel or grease proof paper. If you slice it and freeze it flat – one slice deep – you can cook it straight from the freezer. This would be my advice to a bacon making newbie. Make it and freeze it immediately to enjoy your bacon at its very best.
Of course, if you cure your own bacon you are taking a chance. But if you make sure that everything is scrupulously clean, that your meat is fresh and you follow the guidelines you should live to tell the tale. And what a tale that will be. We are greedy so find it hard to give our bacon away as presents but when we do people love it. On the self sufficiency front it is our gold when it comes to bartering. People proffer asparagus, home farm raised meat and so much more. A glass of Premier Cru champagne anyone? Yes, it happens regularly. Distribute your bacon, don’t ask for a swap and wait. If you are lucky you will sample other people's gold dust too.
We tend to make streaky bacon as belly of pork is so much cheaper than lion ( for back bacon). Also streaky bacon cubed is in fact a ‘pancetta’ type of bacon and makes a great present for a serious foodie. Years ago I would never have considered using streaky bacon in a weekend fry up – now I actually prefer our grilled streaky to back bacon. ButiIf I have to buy bacon I always go for back.
In the olden days, many households kept a pig or two and cured their own bacon and ham. It was a way of preserving meat. The recipes for these use a lot of salt and saltpetre. Our recipes are different – less preserving agents (salt and sugar/molasses/black treacle) but a ‘healthier’ cure with a far shorter life.
New wet cure recipe for sweetcure back and streaky bacon
1. A small 500g joint of either loin or belly of pork
2. 900ml of cold water
3. 100g of cooking salt
4. 50g of light Muscavado sugar
1. Mix the salt and sugar with the water.
2. Place the joint in the water and submerge it with a small plate. Leave to soak in the fridge for seven days.
3. Remove the joint from the curing mixture and dry with a clean tea towel. Leave the joint to chill in the fridge for an hour or so – this makes slicing easier.
4. Place the joint skin side down on a chopping board and slice.
5. Store in greaseproof paper in the fridge or slice and store in the freezer.
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