If you've ever thought about making your own bacon but thought it would be too complicated. Think again.
“There’s nothing quite like opening your fridge door on a Sunday morning and seeing your own bacon sitting there ready for breakfast. It's the most satisfying feeling to see and hear your own bacon sizzling away in the pan whilst you inhale those wonderful bacon-y aromas as you anticipate the best breakfast of the week!”
Neil's recipe below is just a starting point. It's rewarding to try different flavour combinations every time you make it. Trust us, once you have tried this, you will never go back!
1kg of pork belly – ideally skin and bone on – if you can’t get bone, just reduce the salting time by 2 or 3 days
500g of coarse sea-salt
250g of unrefined, soft, dark sugar
Optional: handful of fennel seeds – coriander and star anise also work well – experiment with flavours
200-300ml alcohol - sherry, Madeira or an oak-aged beer are good options
Ground white pepper or paprika
Mix the salt, sugar and fennel seeds well. Cover the bottom of a deep plastic tray and place the pork on top. Work the mix over the entire surface area of the pork. Place the tray in the fridge or somewhere cold. Massage the salt and sugar mix into the meat and turn it in the tray every day for 5 days. As time goes by you will notice moisture draining from the meat. This is fine – don’t drain it off! On day 6, remove the meat from the tray and give it a good rinse under a cold tap. Dry it off with a clean tea-towel. In a clean tray, douse the meat in the alcohol of your choice. Add a dusting of ground white peppercorns or paprika.
At this stage it’s best if some air can circulate around the meat – but it’s not essential. If there’s somewhere cool you can hang it, like a cellar, larder or garage – great. But if not, just on a plate or a tray in the fridge is fine. After 2 or 3 days, your bacon will be ready. Enjoy!