Friday, September 14, 2012

makin bacon

I bought a piece of pork belly and rubbed it well with 50 grams of plain salt mixed with .5gram of saltpetre, placed in in a pyrex baking dish with a lid in the fridge for 24 hours.
Then drained off the water, rinsed the meat, dried it, rubbed it with another salt mix, and left it for another 24 hours.
Again I drained the moisture, rinsed the meat, dried it then wrapped it in a clean tea towel soaked with vinegar.
That's how you can easily make your own bacon!
Sad to say the majority of people presented with traditionally salted food turn up their noses - saying that it is too salty and dry. They prefer the modern sweet, soft hams and bacon which are pumped full of liquid and made soft by shredding and pressing: ie SPAM!
Some technical info: the salt dries the meat out (hence the liquid), helps preserve it and keeps aerobic bacteria at bay. The saltpetre is a very effective germicide - and (even in miniscule amounts) will act against any other poisonous organisms.
Other methods soak the meat in a liquid brine with added treacle or molasses - these will counteract the toughening action of the salt.
Sliced bacon can then be easily smoked in a small hot-smoker to add a most delicious flavour.

Here is a recipie I found on the web which I will try next time ( & add some saltpetre):
Best wet cure recipe for back and streaky bacon
* A joint of either loin or belly of pork
* 900ml of cold water
* 100g of cooking salt
* 4 heaped teaspoonfuls of dark treacle or molasses
Mix the salt and treacle with the water.
Place the joint in the water and submerge it with a small plate. Leave to soak in the fridge for four days.
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.
Place the joint skin side down on a chopping board and slice.
Store in greaseproof paper in the fridge or slice and store in the freezer.

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