I took time out from crafting so as it was virtually non existent really, but, I have at least mastered the Macaron - post to follow soon.
I have also been enjoying using food at home that has been made 'from scratch' as much as possible and I am trying to get away from the processed fodder offered by the supermarkets ..........*dreams of small-holding*
So with that in mind I would like to show you my first attempt at home cured bacon...........really.
I started with a whole piece belly of pork - this will produce streaky bacon - loin will produce back bacon. It weighed 2 kilos or 4lbs approx. If you are in the UK and have an in-store butchers at Morrisons - they are fabulous for help.
Next I had to make up the curing mix which consisted of sea salt, brown sugar and a special curing mix. This is then rubbed onto the dry belly pork (90% to the meat and 10% to the skin) and the belly is then either placed into a ziploc bag which will accomodate it flat or, in my case, wrapped in cling flim to make a secure parcel to prevent against any leakage. This is then placed into the fridge for 7 days with the meat being flipped over once and massage a little bit every day. You will need to place it into a ceramic, glass or plastic vessel because you will get a little liquid out of the meat (in my case not much) but do not use a metallic container because of reaction with the salts - but do keep it flat.
here in the UK but I do believe that other countries do have their won suppliers of this type of salt. This site is very, very informative for home curing products
After 7 days remove the meat from the fridge and rinse the curing mix off it thoroughly and dry with kitchen paper. Another 24 hours in the fridge on a rack or positioned upright, uncovered will help it to dry out ready for eating
Of course I had to do a little bit of my own quality control on this bacon and as you can see it was PERFECT. No white, foamy gunk in the pan, just crisp flavourful meaty bacon. Lovely.
Now would you like to see my method for 'No knead bread' where you really do just stir the dough??