Category: Dry Cure

Dry Cure Bacon

Loin Bacon or Belly Pork Bacon is the easiest of all to make. Simply take a piece of free range pork like Gloucester Old Spot. You want a thick slab from an older animal which has been allowed to gain a medium to thick layer of fat on it.

Method is easy…

1)      Prepare correct size of vacuum pack with double sealed end, roll over the top to stop it getting wet

2)      Add pork and cure mixture then shake to distribute.

3)      Seal end with vacuum seal and double seal end.

4)      Leave in cold fridge and turn daily.

5)      You need to leave it for (at least) 24 hours per ½ inch or 13mm then add on 2 days. This means belly at least a week and loin more.

6)      When ready sometimes you can tell when it is really firm, wash off in cold water, pat dry with kitchen towel. Put on metal drying rack in fridge for a few hours.

7)      Can be cold smoked as well at this point or packed and frozen. Can eat right away or leave for a day to get more flavour.

I would say that these figures are conservative and you could add a little more normal salt and cure longer and it will taste fine. Also this bacon will not last like commercial bacon so best to freeze in vacuum packs and eat on defrost. Also if freezing leave in large pieces for belly then cut to lardons later.

Ingredients…

  • Bacon Loin or Belly 2825g
  • Old English Bacon Cure Ready mixed (30g per 1000g) 84.75g
  • Brown Sugar 16g (balances salt adds flavour and helps preserve)
  • Spices – mix what you want. Why not try out…Juniper berries, bay leaf, black pepper, mace, oregano, sage for a range of flavours. You cannot do any harm as long as they are not indian spice mixes which are too harsh.

Permanent link to this article: https://animatedscience.co.uk/2011/dry-cure-bacon

Pancetta

This is a pancetta / dry cure bacon which is really very good.

In this version I have split half an Old Spot Belly (skin removed). Each bag has a 630g slice which has two versions of the cure.

Method

1)        Weight pork first 630g for each piece

2)       Ratio for dry cure mix is 30g/kg. So for this we need 18.9g. I round up to 20g.

3)       In this case I use three identical ceramic bowls of same mass and check and recheck my dry cure. You can buy it here http://www.sausagemaking.org/acatalog/Traditional_dry_cure_bacon_.html

4)       Then I take the following mix and add to my cure bowls, Dried Sage, Pinch salt, Pinch Brown Sugar, Large Pinch Pepper  or Several Crushed Juniper Berries.

5)       Make up a vaccum bag and make sure you do a double seal on one end.

6)       Add the cure to the bag, then add the meat, give a shake to distribute and quickly seal the end. If you are not quick fluids will come out of the meat and make it impossible to seal the bag.

7)       Double heat the seal to ensure it is firm or make a second seal.

8)       Rub all over but not to generously.

9)       Leave in fridge (very cold one) for 1 day for every ½ inch + two days. In this case It was 2.5” so that is 5 days + 2 days is 1 week. I turn every day to get fluids evenly spread.

10)    Gently rise in cold water discarding fluids and washing away thoroughly.

11)     Place bacon on metal rack in tray to dry for a while then cut in to chunks.

12)     Either vacuum pack or simply bag up for freezer or use within a week or so.

You will find that you might want to add extra salt as I do as I have found that the bacon is not salty enough. Also I think if you leave a little longer than a week it is also ok. Don’t worry about going over on cure time.

Permanent link to this article: https://animatedscience.co.uk/2010/pancetta