A cliché perhaps, but one thing we have learnt here at Cure and Simple, there is no substitute for a bit of patience and perseverance in creating something fabulous. Whether it is a skilled joiner, furniture maker, tailor or even curer, a quality handmade process cannot be beaten by a machine, at heart that is what artisan means.
For us patience is required in bucket loads to create our bacon. From Pork to Bacon through your door, our process takes just over 3 weeks. While this creates a problem for us in regards to supply, this is easily outweighed by the flavour we get from a process that takes this long. The actual process of curing takes anywhere between 8-12 days. When we say curing this is when we immerse the loins in salt and all the flavours that make up each of the recipes. With the loin being turned every few days to ensure the cure is spread evenly across the whole loin. The time taken is purely dependant on the size of the loin, the thicker the piece the longer time, the smaller the piece the shorter the time.
Once the curing time has elapsed we hang the loins to dry in a humidity controlled environment, with a gentle breeze flowing over the loins. The purpose of this is to draw out more of the moisture from the loin. Not only does this help preserve the bacon but also draw out some of the more subtle flavours that we use in the curing process. Finally the slicing and packaging of the product is carried out.
In 3 weeks, we have taken a piece of raw meat and converted into a fully preserved food all with a bit of patience, (and some salt and air). For those who have made bacon at home, you wonder what the differences are to the process described above and what you have done. In essence not a great deal, a lot more record keeping, a controlled environment for the pork to be transformed into bacon and demonstration of best practises to those that need to know i.e. Local health authorities.
We know that with this traditional hands on approach you end up with a far superior product to that what is commonly available in the shops. So if you don’t want to try some of our own bacons why not give it a go and make your own:
1) Go to your local butcher and ask for a kilo or two of pork loin (Ask them to remove the bones and rind), not a requirement but makes a life easier later on.
2) For every KG of Pork you need
- 30gms salt (flakier the better we find)
- 15gms sugar
- 10gms of any herbs and spices
- 2.5gm of Cure #1, (buy Cure #1 at http://bit.ly/1kzFzFE )
3) Mix all the ingredients together and rub into the pork
4) Once rubbed in, place the pork in a non-metallic container in the fridge for 10 days
5) Turn the pork every other day, and pour off any of the liquid, try not to remove any of the salt flakes that haven’t dissolved if so add the some new salt back in to the cure as you poured out, but rubbing back into the loin.
6) Once 1o days is up, run the loin under a cold tap briefly and pat dry with a clean cotton towel
7) You now have bacon and can slice with a sharp knife and enjoy straight away.
8) Alternatively you can let this hang for a few days in a cool dry area, garden shed or similar, best to wrap fully in muslin so the flies don’t get at it.
9) If a white mould appears then simply wash of with some vinegar, it is perfectly harmless.
10) Slice with a sharp knife and enjoy.