Juniper and Bay cure for cooking bacon

This was my first experiment with adding aromatics to a bacon cure.  I’d picked up a pack of ‘thick streaky pork slices’ from the supermarket bargain-meats section – a pack of five pork belly slices about as thick as they were deep, and seven or eight inches long.  For the curing technique, see Bringing Home The Bacon.

I probably wouldn’t recommend using this as a cure for bacon you intend to slice and have for breakfast (though, if you like it, why not?), but it produces really excellent bacon for cutting into cubes and using in cooking.  My first batch was incorporated variously into a celeriac and sausage casserole, a lovely rich bolognese sauce, cauliflower cheese, and sliced and fried to crispy as a burger garnish.

To make 100g of cure (enough to cure about a kilo of belly pork), you will need:Juniper and Bay cure, and ingredients

  • 67g of Supracure (see Bringing Home the Bacon for more information on curing salt)
  • 33g of molasses sugar
  • 8 – 10 juniper berries
  • 1 bay leaf

Put the bay leaf and juniper berries in a spice grinder or pestle and mortar and grind to a medium texture. Add the sugar and Supracure to the grinder and mix well.  Store in an airtight container.  Thanks to the juniper berries, the cure will smell faintly of gin.  This is no bad thing in my opinion!

This is quite a dark coloured cure with a distinctive aroma – it adds a lovely and unusual flavour to dishes when used in cooking.  It seemed to go down well with the people to whom I experimentally fed it, anyway!

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One thought on “Juniper and Bay cure for cooking bacon

  1. Pingback: Big Bacon Challenge: after the challenge – what now? | Country Skills for Modern Life

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