Unskinny Bacon

Here in Paris buying bacon can be a challenge.  Well not really if all you want is lardons…… you can buy those with ease anywhere.  But actual rashers of bacon – that’s another matter.  If you do get them they tend to be so wafer thin you just cannot peel them out of the packet without ending up with an absolute mess.  And just occasionally 🙁 that just does not work for a proper bacon sandwich.  Something Evie has become more than partial to.  So it was back to MEAT by HFW, John’s posted about it before, and curing our own bacon.  It’s very simple.  I went off to Les Sablons outdoor market and bought some pork belly.  Really getting to know one of the butchers there now and getting some great produce. Recognising the same merchant makes a big difference here as you build a rapport. Once home the bacon was rubbed in course salt into which was mixed brown sugar, bay leaves, a little BBQ dry rub and a secret hickory smoked salt (from Central Market – one of my must visits whenever in Houston).  I cannot smoke here in Paris as putting the firebox on the apartment window is likely to cause problems so hence I tried to get the smoke in by other means.  Each day for a week I removed the juices that had DRAINED (yes drained, not run, not been extracted as my kind wife has been so keen to point out to me) off (all done in a tuperware dish) and used some new rub (well until day 5 when I got bored and just poured off the juices).  After a week it was time to take it out and dry it off.  I was meant to wrap two pieces in cheese cloth but my best attempts to find some failed.  So we wrapped the pork in medical gauze – probably a bit too late to fix the piggy (visions of a pig in heaven going “what the heck is he doing now!” – bit late for that) but did the job.  I tried a couple of slices of the bacon – and WOW was it salty!  I spent that night getting up about 6 times and no doubt I drank about 5 pints of water.  After a week of hanging in a dry cool environment it was time to slice and try.  The saltiness had definitely come down to a tolerable level!  It had a great sweetness and a definite slight smokey taste with the other rub flavours in their too.  Great!  But not really still the bacon for said bacon sandwiches. Hmph! Next time Mr. HFW we’ll be using less salt… But this is great bacon for lardons. Yes we did say we could already buy them but it has so much more flavour.  Already been used in Chili Verde…. Superb….  but not as good as being in a French pub, as I was yesterday, watching the English beat Les Bleus at the rugby!  The French supporters seemed to be more vocal at English mistakes rather than good French play.  So I was more than happy to be to sole person cheering when the boys in white did their stuff.  The grand slam may be on.  Need some good bacon sandwiches for that…

Matt B

Author: Matt B

Was in Houston, now is Saudia Arabia with my fantastic family. Missing our friends in Houston!

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