The Cottage Smallholder


stumbling self sufficiency in a small space


How to make your own tasty home cured bacon without a smoker

Posted in Curing and Smoking, Featured | 35 comments

How to make your own tasty home cured bacon without a smoker

It’s often said that some of the best discoveries are made by mistake. This discovery was made through laziness. We have stuck rigidly to our low salt bacon cure for over a year now. When Tessa of chiminea fame came back from a trip to Cornwall she brought news. “We discovered some home cured molasses bacon in a small family butcher’s shop. The bacon was much darker than ours. It was so delicious that we’re going to add more molasses to our recipe.” So I added two more heaped teaspoons of molasses to our cure. We usually smoke the...

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Secret wet cure recipe for smoked bacon

Posted in Curing and Smoking | 11 comments

Secret wet cure recipe for smoked bacon

Having had a baconless weekend, I have been actively seeking a new butcher. I’m told that there’s a great independent butcher in Bury St Edmunds, 14 miles away. When I next have a Saturday off, Jalopy and I will be pointed like an arrow towards that lovely old Cathedral city. In the interim, we’ve tasted some ‘good’ commercially produced bacon and been amazed at the thin and wishy-washy flavour and at the price. Even at special offer prices, bacon is a luxury. Finding a good pork supplier is now a priority. I drifted into Tesco...

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Guest spot: how to build a home cold smoke room and a smoke generator by Smoking Methusala

Posted in Curing and Smoking | 5 comments

Guest spot: how to build a home cold smoke room and a smoke generator by Smoking Methusala

Here is the second part of Smoking Methusala’s post. Here he gets down to the nitty gritty. Smoking Methusala’s cold smoker journey. Part two. Here are the instructions for creating both the home built smoke room and the smoke generator. Making the smoke room: The fridge part is easy. Assuming you have a larder fridge with no freezer box in it and the cooling element is a panel at the back of the fridge. Remove any internal bits like the on off switch, light and leave the gas parts in place as they will cause no problem left in...

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Cottage Smallholder wet cured and smoked bacon recipe

Posted in Curing and Smoking | 8 comments

Cottage Smallholder wet cured and smoked bacon recipe

One thing that lightens the darkest day is our home cured bacon. When I took a small hamper of food to my mum the small package that I was really pleased with was our bacon. Her grill is different from ours. She had to wait a good twenty minutes before it was cooked, compared to our ten minutes. But the smell of slow cooked bacon is the heart of any good breakfast, so by the time I had warmed the plates and rustled up some scrambled egg my mum was in the starting stalls and eager to go. She tasted a small forkful and looked up. “I...

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Besotted by home cured smoked bacon

Posted in Curing and Smoking, Pork Ham Bacon Sausages, Save Money | 14 comments

Besotted by home cured smoked bacon

I was at Fred Fitzpatrick’s butchers shop. I’d brought them each a present of my home cured bacon. John picked up the two slim packs and placed them gently beside the till. “I think I’ll have mine with my Easter Egg.” It was Easter Saturday and I had finally made bacon that I was proud of. Not too salty, sweet edged with black treacle and a deep smokiness from hanging over a smouldering log for twelve hours in our inglenook fireplace. We are now hooked on home cured bacon. Our wet cured recipe only takes 2-3 days...

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Companionable bacon home smoking. The old fashioned way.

Posted in Curing and Smoking, Pork Ham Bacon Sausages, Save Money | 14 comments

Companionable bacon home smoking. The old fashioned way.

The Chicken Lady answered my tom-tom invitation to share our chimney and indulge in a bit of home smoking last night. She arrived with her husband S and a large joint of wet cured belly of pork wrapped in an old red muslin curtain. “I did wash it and loads of red dye came out. Perhaps it will stain the pork pink and get over the problem of not using saltpetre.” I was regretting not using saltpetre on my loin of pork, wanting a good pink colour but had convinced myself that it was good to try different cures. TCL had used a brine...

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