Monday, March 26, 2007

Homecured bacon. Do or die. Do and die. Whatever.

Time to try some freshly cured bacon. Took the pork belly out from under the covers on day 4. I had to rub in some new cure (sea salt, light muscavado, and fresh bay leaves) on Saturday morning and on Sunday, and drained the runoff liquid every morning. Otherwise, I just left it covered in a ceramic dish untouched until this evening, washed the excess cure off under the tap, and patted dry.

This should keep for a couple of weeks in the fridge - the 10 day cure, though salty as hell, apparently, will keep for a couple of months.

I guess I could dry air curing it as well....

Still. Time will tell. If I suddenly stop posting, I guess I'm dead.

Served up four thick cut slices on some of that pasta dura bread, with butter 9click on the pic for a larger shot). Its quite salty - too salty to eat often, (apparently a quick soak would sort that out ) but as is, it would be excellent as a flavouring for sauces and soups. That said, the taste is excellent. The bay comes through just strongly enough to add an extra dimension to the taste. Looking forward to mixing in some junipers, or smoking some. The texture is fantastic - it just falls apart. On the pan, it cooks without the hissyfit spitting of commercial cures, and holds it shape very well.

The odd thing is that, without the saltpetre, the meats cooks to an odd grey colour. But a minute or so more on the pan sears some colour into it.

Well worth the effort. Damned easy to do. And cheaper than a packet of Dennys. Wonder how my cholesterol test next week will work out.


Caroline@Bibliocook said...

That's looks GORGEOUS! Where did you get your pork belly?

Abulafia said...

Actually, I picked it up in my local butchers. A fine family shop - my mother remembers the same family running it in her childhood, and buying meat from the current butchers father.

A fine spot, and he's never happier than when someone asks for something more unusual. I've had long conversations about tongue, caul, ham hocks at 1.50 apiece, how to use lamb ribs to flavour Ragu. Small stock, but super service.

But I'm babbling.

Nolans butchers.

213 Rathmines rd Lr Dublin 6 Pages (01)4972487

Caroline@Bibliocook said...

Ta for that - that butcher is near my new place so I must check him out if I ever manage to get home before he closes!

Abulafia said...

Really? Well, I've lived in the area for a long time. If you're interested, drop me a line at the contact email in the sidebar, and I'll email on a brief rundown of the areas gastronomic curiosities.