Friday, 22 October 2010

A Side of Bacon

It is now 6 full days since I started to cure the full side of Tamworth Pork that arrived last Saturday.

Each day it has been removed from the fridge, massaged with more cure, and re-ordered in the box so that the top moves to the bottom and so forth. after 6 days it looks like this.

The meat has darkened in colour and the texture is much firmer as much of the liquid has been drawn from the meat by the osmotic pressure created by the salt and sugar in the cure. The only smell is that of the aromatics in the cure. There is no "off" smell which I am sure you would get if a piece of pork had been left in an open box in a fridge for 6 days.

Possibly the perfect bacon sandwich

Now the flitches of bacon are washed off and left to soak in fresh cold water for an hour or so. This final soaking removes the salt from the surface of the bacon as it can be too salty for some tastes if this is not done.

The flitches are cut in half to make them more manageable. It can be seen that the cure has affected the entire structure of the meat. There are no areas that look like raw meat as can be seen on the picture above.

They are then wrapped in muslin and left hanging in a cool dry place for a week or so. This is a necessary stage if the meat is to be smoked as a "pellicle" or surface coating needs to form on the flitch so that the smoke adheres to the bacon during that final stage.

Two of the pieces are however to be the subjects of an experiment and are to be further matured in the fridge. One has been coated in Black Treacle and the other in  Maple Syrup. I plan to leave these for a week or so and then sample.

What's Brown & Sticky ? ..... A Stick

My Dad called round today and took a look at the ham hanging in the Garage. He smiled and recounted how my Great Grandfather used to have one hanging above the table in the kitchen. Apparently it used to sit under an Oil Lamp and the heat used to cause the fat to run and drip off the ham. His Father, My Grandfather, also used to home cure and Dad remembers Grand Dad slicing a piece of bacon from a ham and cooking it over the fire on the end of a stick.

1 comment:

  1. Quite literally Hamazing. Sorry. I'll be quiet now.