When life gives you ‘Elaborate Bacon’ it’s time to get creative.
Trust me I know because I bought it. In spite of it being the most expensive ‘bacon’ on the shelves I didn’t have high hopes. I wasn’t disappointed – it was crap.
We were looking into a bacon-less future and that wasn’t one I was willing to live in.
So I took a walk down Wukang Lu to the wet market.
And I came home with a 1.6kg piece of pork belly – sadly not organic or free range. But what can you expect for 72RMB/ $13.
After a quick google search a spice mixture was created:
Aforementioned belly was rubbed and wrapped:
And put to rest for 7 days with a nightly turnover.
A cold power shower was prescribed to remove the rub and a few hours recommended uncovered in the fridge to dry off ……
Because on the seventh day….
….we had bacon.
With rind. Cue chuffed chef snaffling them all for herself and not sharing.
Bloody fantastic. And now there’s no going back.
If I was still doing jamjnr classes for kids I’d be getting them to do the rub and wrapping one week and then show them how it makes bacon the the following week – and doing a blind test with some shop bought stuff.
When I was frying the bacon in a tiny bit of oil there was no water released at all in the pan. There was none of that white scuzzy mess that sometimes coats the bacon. Best of all, apart from the fact that it wasn’t organic of course, I knew exactly what we were eating. No chemicals and no additives.
It was a hugely satisfying experiment. We now have thickly sliced bacon in the freezer for butties, plus the scrag ends for pasta or fried rice.
Rich was going to give it 10/10 but he took a point off because I was trying to take photos and the bacon went cold. It hasn’t stopped him bragging to everyone about his proper bacon buttie though!
Next time I’m going to try it with maple syrup and star anise and see how that changes the flavour.
I can see a lot of bacon in our Shanghai future…..
Have you made bacon before? Would you give it a try now? Any recommendations on spice rubs for me?
1.5-1.7kg pork belly (rind on or off as you wish)
70g brown sugar
4 bay leaves, broken into small pieces
1/2 tsp each fennel & coriander seeds
5g cracked pepper
1. Mix all the spice rub ingredients together.
2. Massage into both sides of the pork belly and wrap in several layers of glad wrap. Any leftover spice rub can just be patted on top of the meat.
3. Wrap in several layers of glad wrap – I used about seven.
4. Place in a covered glass or plastic container in the fridge for seven days, turning once each day.
5. On the seventh day wash under warm running water to remove all spice rub.
6. Place on a wire rack, uncovered in the fridge for 4-6 hours to dry out.
7. If you’ve kept the rind on (and why wouldn’t you?!) you need to get a really sharp knife to cut through the rind. Or use a sushi knife like I did. Oops.
8. Fry. Grill. Freeze. Enjoy.