“A peasant becomes fond of his pig and is glad to salt away its pork. What is significant, and is so difficult for the urban stranger to understand, is that the two statements are connected by an and not by a but.”
I mentioned a few posts back that I had the belly of one side of our pig left whole, so I could try my hand at making bacon. Finally, I can report on the results!
Bacon made from the belly is typical in the US, but elsewhere is often referred to as “streaky bacon” (especially in English recipes) or “American-style bacon”.
I read a number of recipes online, and decided to go for something that didn’t require smoking. Mostly because I don’t have a smoker :-).
In the end, I chose a fairly simple wet-cure bacon recipe I found over at The Cottage Smallholder. I did two batches – one with maple syrup instead of treacle, and the other with golden syrup. Mostly because I didn’t have any treacle or molasses :-).
The bacon sits in the salty/sweet brine for 4 days in the fridge. It was still fairly soft when I took it out – a bit like pickled pork. I thought it’d be firmer, but then I’ve never done this before.
A wet-cured bacon isn’t going to last as long in the fridge as a dry-cured smoked bacon, so I decided to slice it up and freeze it in useful-sized batches. Of course, I had to fry up a few slices just to see how it turned out.
It was great! Salty, very slightly sweet, and absolutely delicious.
Next time I think I’ll try harder to find molasses, and see if it turns out any different. I’ll also definitely try a dry cure, and maybe even rig up a smoker and go the whole hog. Pardon the pun :-).
Have you ever tried curing bacon or ham? Any tips to share?