This very old-fashioned way of making your own fresh bacon is surprisingly easy and takes just four days. This bacon has just been salted, not dried, boiled or smoked, so it must be cooked before you eat it – and my family loves the stuff! In my old 1845 recipe book, they used salt, saltpetre (potassium nitrate) and sugar. You can try adding a little sugar to this recipe if you want, but see if you like it this way fi rst. I prefer to use a herbed salt my husband makes so I’ve included the recipe for that too. And please use free-range pork if you can afford it. The taste is much better and you are supporting producers who don’t raise their pigs in factory farms.
|1 cup||Sea salt, or herbed salt|
|1||Pork loin, free range ( you will often find it rolled and tied – cut it free and spread the loin out) (Main)|
|4 Tbsp||Fresh thyme|
|4 Tbsp||Fresh rosemary (Main)|
|2 Tbsp||Fresh oregano, or marjoram|
|12 cloves||Garlic, peeled (Main)|
|500 g||Sea salt, or plain table salt ( not iodised)|
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To prepareHomemade bacon:
- Take the pork and slit the fat on the top with several deep gashes. Pat the salt over the meat on all sides until it is well covered.
- Place it in a plastic container with an upturned saucer in the bottom so that the meat doesn't sit in the juice that will drain out of it. You might have a Tupperware container that has a grid in the bottom – this is perfect. Put the lid on and place in the fridge.
- Check the meat every day and drain any fluid which is sitting in the bottom. By day four it should be quite dry and ready to be sliced and fried. If you want, you can smoke it at this stage for an even tastier bacon.
- Finely chop the herbs and garlic. Mix with salt in a large bowl and let stand for 24 hours at room temperature to dry out.
- Place in an airtight container. Use this salt to season pasta sauces or scattered on tomatoes on toast, but it's best sprinkled on steak before cooking and patted all over a chicken before roasting with a bit sprinkled inside.