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LEARN ALL ABOUT BACON FOOD & COOKING ARTICLE

BRINGING HOME THE BACON
Watch the video below with TV host Anton Du Beke to learn all about bacon from cuts to cooking and get some delicious recipes

It's hard to imagine the great British breakfast without bacon; whether it's part of a full English, or piled between two slices of bread for a butty, it is undeniably delicious. However bacon is much more versatile than you may think. With a range of different cuts and cures available, it can liven up an assortment of meals.

This year's Bacon Connoisseurs' Week, launching Monday 22nd March 2010, featured the search to find the best bacon cure of 2010 as part of the national 'Bring Home the Bacon' competition.

In this video Anton Du Beke takes us to Smithfields, Europe's largest meat market, to learn from the experts about curing, and explains why we should look for packs with the Red Tractor Mark. Home economist Clare Greenstreet also demonstrates some delicious recipes, including a tasty Chilli and lemon Kedgeree, an Upside Down Bacon Hotpot and even some savoury brunch or teatime Muffins, which are sure to be enjoyed by the whole family.

Although nothing compares to the flavour of bacon, there is always the question of which cut to go for. Whether you are after a great bacon butty or a more substantial meal, the perfect bacon cut is out there, so why not get to know a bit more about the best cut for your dish?

  • Collar
    An excellent joint for boiling or braising, though it must be well soaked before cooking. It can also be sliced into rashers.

  • Shoulder
    An excellent joint for boiling or braising, though it must be well soaked before cooking. It can also be sliced into rashers.

  • Fore Hock
    Similar to gammon hock, this meat is great for cooking casseroles, soups, pies and mincing and it is less readily available than most other cuts.

  • Back Rashers
    This lean cut/joint is usually sold as rashers or chops. Thinly cut for rashers, thicker for chops, which are delicious fried, grilled or baked. A very thick piece can be used for boiling, braising or roasting.

  • Streaky Rashers
    A popular favourite, offering a tasty combination of lean bacon with fat, best grilled. A joint of streaky bacon is good boiled and pressed, eaten cold. Streaky bacon is especially good value for money.

  • Middle Rashers
    These are a breakfast time favourite as well as being an excellent buy economically.

  • Gammon
    A lean, meaty cut and a prime joint for boiling, braising, roasting or baking. Gammon rashers or steaks are also usually cut from this joint and are excellent grilled or fried.

  • Gammon Hock
    Less widely available than other cuts and similar to the fore hock, this is good meat for casseroles, soups, pies and mincing.

EGGY BACON TOASTS RECIPE

Ingredients

225g (8oz) Dry cured smoked streaky bacon rashers
3 Eggs
Splash milk
Seasoning
Pinch cayenne pepper
½ Baguette, thickly sliced into 8 pieces
12g (½oz) Butter

Method

  • Place eggs, milk, seasoning and cayenne into a large shallow dish. Mix together with a fork.
  • Add slices of baguette and leave to absorb the egg mixture, turn over after a couple of minutes.
  • Place streaky rashers under a hot grill and cook for a few minutes each side until crispy and golden.
  • Heat butter in a large frying pan and add baguette slices. Cook for 2 - 3 minutes each side until golden brown.
  • Serve egg toasts piled high with streaky bacon rashers - great with your favourite ketchup or drizzled with honey or maple syrup!

Serves 4

BACON ONION AND BASIL MUFFINS RECIPE

Ingredients

225g (8oz) Dry cured unsmoked back bacon rashers, trimmed and cut into large pieces
450g (1lb) Plain flour
30ml (2tbsp) Baking powder
Pinch salt
4 Eggs, medium
450ml (¾pt) Semi skimmed milk
25g (1oz) Butter
1 Small onion, sliced thinly
1 Small handful fresh basil, roughly chopped/torn
Muffin paper cases or greaseproof squares (12 x 12cm)

Method

  • Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4, 180ºC, 350ºF.
  • Into a large bowl place flour, baking powder and salt.
  • Break eggs into a jug and lightly mix with a fork. Add the milk and mix together.
  • Place the butter into a hot frying pan and add the bacon pieces and onion slices.
  • Cook until onion is translucent and bacon cooked through.
  • Add the cooked bacon and onion to the flour and mix. Add the basil followed by the egg and milk mixture.
  • Fold the mixture together using a large spoon until all ingredients are thoroughly combined.
  • Place muffin cases or scrunch greaseproof squares into muffin tins. Fill each muffin case almost to the top with mixture (should make about 18 muffins).
  • Cook in a preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes until well risen and golden.
  • Serve hot as a lunch, breakfast or snack, or cold for pack lunches or a picnic.

Serves 12

UPSIDE DOWN BACON HOTPOT RECIPE

Ingredients

225g (8oz) Dry cured premium unsmoked back bacon rashers, trimmed and cut into 3
2 Knobs butter
2 Potatoes, peeled and thinly sliced
2 Onions, peeled and thinly sliced
2 Parsnips, peeled and thinly sliced lengthways
2 Large carrots, peeled and thinly sliced lengthways
1 Eating apple, sliced across through the core

Seasoning:
2 Sprigs fresh sage
300ml 1/2pt Pork stock

Method

  • Grease a large shallow ovenproof gratin type dish with a small knob of butter.
  • Place the sliced vegetables and apple into a large bowl and season, toss together to mix.
  • Place vegetables into the shallow dish and spread out. Add sage and push into the layers.
  • Pour over the hot stock, add the bacon pieces and dot with butter.
  • Cover with foil and cook in a preheated oven for about 50 minutes until vegetables are tender.
  • Remove foil and cook for a further 15 minutes to brown and crisp the top.
  • Serve with extra green seasonal steamed vegetables.

Serves 4

BACON CHILLI AND LEMON KEDGEREE RECIPE

Ingredients

100g (4oz) Oak smoked back bacon rashers, trimmed and cut into large pieces
175g (6oz) Long grain rice
15ml (1tbsp)Olive oil
4 Spring onions, sliced
1 Red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
15ml (1tbsp) Mild curry powder
1 Lemon
2 Eggs, hard boiled, cut into quarters
30ml (2tbsp) Fresh parsley, roughly chopped

Method

  • Cook rice in a large pan of boiling water until tender.
  • Into a pan heat oil and lightly cook together the bacon, spring onions and chilli.
  • Add the curry powder, thoroughly mix together and cook for 1-2 minutes.
  • Add the juice of half the lemon and cut the remaining half into wedges to serve.
  • Add the hot cooked rice and eggs, toss all ingredients together.
  • Scatter with parsley and serve with lemon wedges.
  • Great for breakfast, brunch and lunch served with crusty bread, toasted bagels or muffins.

Serves 2

Information and recipes courtesy of www.lovepork.co.uk

Email Hub-UK : info@hub-uk.com