Cure your addiction and celebrate everything Bacon, for one week only (until next year!) it is British Bacon Connoisseurs week from the 18th to the 24th March 2013.
I don’t just celebrate bacon for one week a year, our celebrations are weekly, nay daily through every month of the year! but for those looking for an excuse to eat more bacon, talk bacon, make bacon, try making bacon yourself – it’s not rocket science! read on and join in Bacon Connoisseurs week. Sorry, had to pause this post just there and go and make myself a bacon buttie! I feel much better now.
Traditional Dry Cured Bacon
Bacon can be made in various ways, my favoured method is the traditional dry cure where salts are massaged by hand into the pork, overhauled daily for 7 to 10 days, washed, air dried and this produces proper dry cure bacon. Using this method the salts cure the meat by drawing out the moisture from the bacon thereby giving a dry finish, you can lose anything up to 30% in weight depending on how long you air dry but in my opinion this gives a superior quality bacon. The image below shows a whole middle of bacon with the salt applied before it is massaged into every surface.
Wet Cure Brine method
Big producers prefer the brine immersion or injection methods as they are much faster and you are adding weight to the meat rather than taking it away! No surprise for efficiency and cost big manufacturers prefer this method! The resulting wet cure bacon can shrink when cooked and the dreaded white scum appear in the pan.
This is some fantastic Yorkshire bred Mangalitza dry cure back bacon, just look at that pure white fat and the marbling through the meat. Back bacon is made from the loin of pork.
Middle bacon as shown here rolled and ready to slice is the whole middle of the pig, pork loin and pork belly still connected and cured in one piece, you therefore get back and streaky together in one slice of bacon.
Streaky bacon is the cured pork belly, gives superb crispy bacon, great for butties or for dressing poultry, laid on the chicken or turkey breast protects and keeps your bird moist.
Similar to the streaky bacon and made from cured pork belly but this time with a different cure recipe with added herbs and spices and traditionally air dried for longer to give a drier finish. Sold in slabs or sliced like the image above.
Guanciale you have to put on your best Italian accent and really say GUANCIALE to get the gist of this cured pork jowl delight. Pork jowl cured with juniper, thyme, bay and garlic to give an even richer style of pancetta, used in many classic Italian dishes including authentic Spaghetti Carbonara…
Pork Butchery & Curing Courses
If you want to find out more about pork butchery and how to cure bacon then you need to go on a Pork Butchery & Curing course at Paganum in the Yorkshire Dales. More info on the courses here www.paganum.co.uk