It’s a topic that divides families and splits opinions; plain or smoked? Dry or wet-cured?
There’s a simple answer to one section here – go dry cured. Nothing good can ever come from wet-cured bacon…
- Wet-cured bacon is soaked in brine or is injected with a solution that contains the salts and curing agents that make pork become bacon.
- Dry-cured avoids any of this watery horror and cures the meat in dry salts that slowly work through the meat, giving flavour and reducing moisture.
- Wet cured bacon shrinks, leaves an unpleasant white liquid in the pan and produces a floppy monstrosity – you also require a pan hotter than the core of the earth to actually attain nice, crispy bacon.
- Dry curing removes some of the moisture from the meat before it’s cooked, so it shouldn’t shrink and most certainly doesn’t ooze anything. Its final fanfare; a beautifully crispy rasher!
That’s really down to personal preference – but as we don’t have to smoke food these days in order to preserve it, I rather like smoked bacon’s culinary throwback. Most smoked bacons get their flavour from artificial chemicals, you’ll have to specialist to get the real deal.
However, match some great artisan-made, crusty brown bread, with a good dollop of brown sauce, (no butter) with a handful of smoked bacon. That right there, is perfection in your hands!
The last word is going to the fat….
… I perfectly appreciate most people don’t want to eat fat in their butty, but whatever you do, cut it off after cooking! Don’t lose all the wonderful flavours and succulence you get when you cook the meat with the fat still on. (you’ll thank me for it)
So whatever you do, make sure you match up a lazy Sunday morning reading the papers or pottering in the garden, with an amazing bacon butty and a jolly good brew!