I vowed when I gave up smoking that I would never become an ugly non smoker and that I would always remain a tolerant ex smoker. However, this has not been the case. We have a friend who is the most selfish smoker I have ever met. One night when we were at a restaurant the owner delayed each and every one of the courses as she kept getting up to smoke. Her husband was cross with the restaurant but I totally got where they were coming from as the food needed to be served hot, and we were a table of 12! Another night she got into the car with 3 of us who are non smokers and she lit up. I opened the window even though it was a bitterly cold evening and she told me I was pathetic for being affected by the smoke. I have had a few really bad bouts of bronchitis and the smoke from cigarettes and fires is intolerable as it affects my lungs. She further made her smoking uncomfortable for a group of us when she insisted on smoking in someone else’s apartment and I kept on walking away from where she was and she kept on following me. But this still did not make me cross until we went away! We were told that we could not smoke indoors and if anyone did, the barge would be stripped, cleaned and refitted, at our expense. As Dave had paid for the barge on his credit card this literally would have been at our expense, and not at hers! She lit up one night and as she was not actually smoking the cigarette told me she was not smoking inside. Being pedantic of course she was right, but it was still a smoking cigarette! And then she did it again after I asked her not to smoke, and she said they would never know as they could not see her! #FFS that very instant turned me into that non smoker. I explained the cost implication of her actions and she could not care less! It totally got to me as I was never an inconsiderate smoker. And I tolerate considerate smokers but I will not tolerate her smoking ever again.
Thankfully, I did not need to light a smoker to make Home Cured Pork Belly (bacon) at home. Whereas pork can be smoked, curing it is more traditional and the Wiltshire cure appears to be the oldest known recipe for bacon. I have used some of those ingredients, together with Peter Goffe-Wood’s recipe for Home Cured Bacon that I downloaded from Mastering Meat 2 as inspiration. I have used celery seeds instead of saltpetre as they are a great source of natural nitrates.
- Place your pork onto a wire rack and place the wire rack over a dish
- Place the dish into the fridge and leave for 2 hours to dry
- Use kitchen roll to pat dry the pork belly
- Place the celery seeds, coriander seeds, cloves and peppercorns into a mortar and crush with a pestle
- Place the salt into a bowl and mix in the spices and thyme
- Remove 100g of the mix and add 20g fructose and mix well to make your curing mixture
- Sprinkle 50g of the curing mixture in a thin layer into a ceramic dish (suitable size for your pork)
- Place the pork rind side down on top of the cure mixture
- Cover the top of the pork with the remaining cure mixture, patting it down firmly and making sure the sides are covered as well
- Place into the fridge, uncovered, overnight
- The following day, remove the pork belly and wipe off the excess cure mixture using kitchen roll and pat dry
- Wash out your dish and dry thoroughly
- Repeat the curing process
- Do this for 5 days in total before rinsing the pork belly to remove all traces of the curing mixture
- Dry with kitchen roll and wrap in wax paper
- Store in an airtight container in the fridge
- Your bacon can be frozen and needs to be defrosted in the fridge before using
Click on the links for conversions and notes.
What I blogged:
- one year ago – Pappas Restaurant
I am on leave until the 8th of January. I will start replying to blog comments then. I wish you all a safe festive season.