Home cured streaky bacon has been a constant fixture in my house since I first made it back in October – in fact I’ve not bought any ‘commercial’ bacon since. Back bacon used to be our house favourite though, before I started curing. A couple of weeks ago I saw a tied pork loin ‘roasting’ joint for sale half-price in the local co-op, and it seemed to good to refuse.
For home-cured back bacon, you will require –
- A piece of pork loin. The roasting joint was a bit big so I cut it in half to give me a piece about 650g in weight.
- Curing salt such as Supracure (see the Suppliers List for details), 8% of the total weight of the meat, and
- Sugar (soft brown sugar is ideal) 2% of the total weight of the meat, to make a total cure weight of 10%
- A non-metallic dish big enough to contain the meat, and some cling film to cover.
Weigh out the cure ingredients and mix them together well. Now rub about a quarter of the cure mix all over the pork, including on the skin. You can see it start to draw out moisture from the meat straight away. Cover the dish loosely with some cling film, and put it in the fridge until tomorrow.
The next day, there will be some liquid in the bottom of the dish. This is the ‘pickle’ and is made up of some of the curing mix dissolved in the liquid that’s been drawn out of the meat. It’s completely normal, so don’t worry. Pour it away, or your dry-cure will pretty quickly turn into a brine cure. Now take about a quarter of the remaining cure and rub it all over the meat again. Put it back in the dish the other way up to last time (so skin side up, if you started skin-side down).
Repeat this process for another three days (so that you’ve rubbed cure into the bacon five days running). By day 3 you should notice a distinct difference in the texture of the meat, it will be firmer in consistency and a bit darker pink in colour.
On the sixth day (so one day longer than the streaky bacon process – this is because the meat is thicker than belly pork), remove the bacon from the dish, rinse it under the tap, dry it carefully with kitchen towel, wrap it loosely with greaseproof paper and put it back in the fridge. Ideally, wait a couple of days before you start eating it, do let it rest at least overnight.
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