I’m not a new comer when it comes to home curing meat. Oh no – let us not forget The Beast of 2011 (my first attempt of home made pastrami) and the slightly furry pancetta that maybe didn’t get as much attention and love that it should of gotten.
When Lucy at OffallyGood, did a guest post on This is Rosk Salt’s blog about curing bacon. I knew instantly that I was going to try making my own. The recipe looked super easy and without the need of scary nitrates and nitrites, I went to the shops that evening to start getting to work straight away.
Now Lucy used agnus castus spice, lovage and rosemary to flavour her cure for the bacon. I went for crushed coriander seeds and plenty of black peppercorns as when grinding this mixture up, it embodies the exact flavour of pastrami which I adore. Not the most kosher flavour tie in but hey why not.
Such a easy process you’ll be wondering why you hadn’t tried doing this before. Next time I make it I think I’ll order some liquid smoke from Sous Chef to flavour the salt cure. Also I would go to my friendly local butcher rather than my local nasty supermarket as the piece of pork belly was rather fatty than an even amount of meat to cure. Don’t get me wrong it was epic and more like lardons but I want meat. Also another side note is that because it doesn’t have any nitrates or curing salts, don’t expect the bacon to stay pink when cooked. Mine went like brilliant roasted pork belly. It was a tad salty too when used so just beware not to load on the salt when using it.
Homemade X-Rated Bacon
- – 350g salt (table is fine)
- – 150g white caster sugar
- – 10g lightly crushed black peppercorns
- – 10g lightly crushed coriander seeds
- – approx 500g pork belly (in one piece)
- Mix all the cure ingredients and pop it into a nice sandwich bag. Place the pork belly into a tupperware container and sprinkle over the cure mixture, making sure it’s well covered. Try not to get meaty hands in the remaining salt cure as any you don’t use, you can save for the next time. Cover with a lid and place in the fridge.
- The next day pour off any liquid that has come out of the belly, the process of osmosis (that’s right your GCSE Biology is coming into play here!) Sprinkle more of the cure over the belly until nicely covered. Cover and place in the fridge and repeat each day for 7 days in total.
- When ready to use, I rinsed the belly off under some running water to remove any excess water, pat dry with kitchen towel and wrap in parchment until needed.
Makes enough for 4 people or 2 very greedy girls
I thought a Carbonara style dinner would be the perfect way to use my home made bacon. I fried up the bacon in lardons to extract the fat from it to use as a base of the béchamel sauce.
– 150g X-Rated homemade bacon
– 30g plain flour
– 450ml milk (I used semi skimmed as that’s what was in the fridge but you could use any- soya, skimmed, whole, even double cream)
– good measure of ground black pepper
– 150g extra mature cheddar, grated
– 200g pasta of your choice, I went spaghetti as that was all I had to hand.
1. In a large frying pan, crisp the bacon lardons until they are nice and crisp – just like a pan of sexy roasted pork belly. Put the pasta cooking while you finish up the sauce- this meal doesn’t take too long.
2. Add the flour and cook over a low heat for 2 minutes, this will start to rupture the starch cells, which will then thicken the added milk.
3. Slowly add the milk, keep stirring until it is at a beautiful thick consistency. You may or may not use up all the milk or need a splash more depending on what consistency you fancy.
4. Turn off the heat, stir in the black pepper and the grated cheese, letting the heat of the sauce melt it. Drain the pasta and serve the sauce over the top. Turn off the lights so no one can see the filth dish you’ve just made.
There isn’t a picture of the finished dish as it was just too x-rated.
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