Want to make your own charcuterie but not sure where to start? Steven Lamb, River Cottage curing and smoking expert, shows us the basics with this streaky bacon recipe
Makes around 100 medium rashers
You will need
Free range pork belly 2kg, in one piece, skin on, flat rib bones intact
For the cure:
Pure dried vacuum salt 500g
Demerara sugar 500g
Bay leaves a few, shredded
Juniper berries about 20, lightly bruised
Black peppercorns 25g, freshly ground
- If the pork has an uneven covering of flare fat, remove it, as if it’s uneven it could affect curing time.
- Place all cure ingredients in a sealable container.
- Place one handful of cure in the base of a tray that’s big enough to hold the pork, and place it skin-side down. Scatter another handful of cure over the surface, and lightly rub it in, making sure the sides are also coated.
- Cover with a clean tea towel and put in the fridge or a cool place for 24 hours.
- The next day, lift the meat and pour off the liquid. Put a fresh handful of cure into the container and place the meat back on top. Rub with another handful as before.
- Repeat the process for five days, using about a fifth of the cure each day. As the meat cures and dries it will get darker in colour and there’ll be less liquid.
- After 5 days, run the meat under cold water and clean the surface with a cloth soaked in malt vinegar. Pat it dry and put it back in the cleaned container in the fridge.
- After five days it will be ready to slice with a sharp knife. It will store in the fridge for up to 3 months, intensifying in flavour. Sliced rashers can also be kept in the freezer.
Find more recipes from Steven in his book, Curing and Smoking.