Halen Môn signature streaky bacon
Makes approximately 30 rashers, depending on thickness
- 500g muscovado sugar
- 500g Halen Môn Pure Sea Salt in a Finer Flake
- 12 juniper berries
- 20 cracked black peppercorns
- 5 bay leaves, shredded (this can be combined or replaced with a similar amount of thyme, rosemary or sage depending on your preference)
- 2kg piece pork belly, skin on
- Malt vinegar, for wiping
Bacon is fantastic. The combination of salt, sugar, aromatics and time transform a simple pork belly into the best start to the day. For those that enjoy the ritual of a carefully constructed bacon sandwich, this recipe may be the gateway into the world of curing, and it will certainly elevate any bacon sandwich to another level. It’s also a process that can be done with children over the course of a week or so.
- Mix all the dry cure ingredients together in a large bowl until thoroughly combined.
- Trim the pork belly into a piece of meat you can imagine slicing bacon from. Leave in the flat rib bones if they are present and leave the skin on. It doesn’t need to be perfect – just tidy it up a little.
- Put 20 per cent of the cure mix into a large non-metallic container (a fridge drawer works well or a large plastic container). Add the pork belly and using clean hands, rub the cure all over the pork, focusing on the flesh rather than the skin. Leave the pork belly, skin-side down, in the container covered with a tea towel for 24 hours in the bottom of the fridge. Put the unused dry cure into a large jar or airtight container for use later.
- The next day, the pork belly will be sitting in a pool of liquid, so pour away the liquid and rinse the pork under cold running water to remove the cure and pat dry. Put the pork back into the container and add a large handful of the reserved dry cure. Using clean hands, rub the cure all over the pork, then leave, skin-side down, in the container covered with a tea towel in the fridge for another 24 hours. Rinse the pork and repeat this process each day for another three days.
- By this time you should have used all the dry cure. You will notice that less and less liquid is drawn from the belly each day and the meat will darken and firm up, as it is becoming bacon
- After five days of curing, remove the pork from the container and rinse it under cold running water. Pat dry with kitchen paper, then wipe the meat all over with a cloth soaked in malt vinegar. Wrap loosely in baking paper, then wrap in a tea towel and leave to dry in the fridge for another five days.
- The bacon is now ready for cooking. Slice off as much bacon as you need. If you would like thick-cut bacon for sandwiches, then slice off strips about 3mm/1/8in thick, or if you want to go for a bacon steak, go up to 10mm/.in. After slicing, wrap the bacon in the paper and towel and return to fridge. It will remain happily back in the bottom of your fridge, wrapped in the paper and cloth for up to two months.
Recipe from our book Sea Salt: A perfectly seasoned cookbook.