Category Archives: Bacon

Christmas Recipes…Home Cured Ham & Bacon…

Christmas Ham and Bacon (2)

I have home cured my own ham/ bacon for a long time now…

Those of you who know me are well aware of my aversion to anything processed and ham/ bacon is no exception to that rule. The ham you purchase from the shops is just slimy, and not nice at all….The bacon of doubtful origins at best especially where I live now…In the Uk you could get some lovely home cured kinds of bacon and hams not so here or if there is I have not found them….I have also been experimenting with various different ways of curing bacon and ham which may be more healthy…

Bacon contains nitrates which some people have an aversion to using or it causes headaches and other adverse symptoms.

Today I am using celery juice..just put the celery into the juicer and out the other side and viola this lovely vibrant green juice.

Now celery also contains nitrates but they are naturally occurring nitrates although for some people it may still cause headaches but if your aversion is to chemicals only then celery may be a better way to cure your bacon.

I used 2 Kilo’s Pork Belly.

For every Kilo of Pork use I used:

  • 2 parts rock salt to 1 part sugar.
  • 4 cloves garlic.
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A bunch of Lemon Thyme.
  • 20/30 Mustard Seeds,
  • 12 Pepper Corns,
  • Celery Juice as required to make the mix damp.

Lets Cook!

Finely slice bay Leaves and lightly crush with other spices in Pestle & Mortar.

Combine with Sugar and Salt and mix with liberal amounts of celery juice until damp.

Rub into the Pork.

Belly pork bacon Naturallly cured

Place Pork in a sealed container or bag ( I used a brining bag). Turn halfway through the week. That is why I like using the brining bags as it is much easier to turn the pork belly over.

Store in the fridge for 5 Days.

After 5 days remove the belly pork and wash thoroughly.

Cook in the oven @ 100 C for 2 hours. Cool and slice.

Home cured belly Streaky bacon

It also looks lovely and pink ( no grey) which means the natural nitrates in the celery juice had worked their magic.

All I need now is a home-made smoker and some lovely flavoured woods. Maybe use some maple syrup, honey, someone suggested coffee..some nice tea springs to my mind so many options…A different blend of herbs or cut of meat…

Have you made your own bacon and if you did what did you use?

Now the tester…How will it taste?

Home cured Bacon frying

Naturally cured with celery juice

It smells like bacon, looks like bacon and made a lovely sandwich….  Most households have some who love thick bacon and some who like thinner bacon the beauty of making your own bacon is everyone can have their bacon sliced to their own requirements …How cool is that?

If you start experimenting now you can have some lovely home-cured bacon for Christmas or as a lovely present for someone you love …

My next two ham recipes are using Salt Petre I made the conscious decision that for the amount used and the dilution per litre of liquid that as the body can cope and disperse with the nitrate I would use that rather than getting botulism which the body generally doesn’t cope with. Also for the number of times, I make ham we are not eating it day in day out week after week the risk is minimal and considering the number of chemicals which are in foods by cooking my own food from scratch I have control. That is my decision. It is also extremely likely if you buy your ham ready to cook that nitrates have been used in the curing process I believe I use far less than any ham I buy ready to cook.

Christmas Ham Recipe.

A piece of Pork…top of leg……mine was 3 kilo.

Suitable plastic( not metal) container to brine meat in.

Ingredients for the Rub:

  • 4 tbsp salt (coarse)
  • 2 tbsp  Sugar.
  • 1/2 tbsp Saltpeter(saltpetre) See note at the end of the post 
  • Ingredients for Brine:
  • 5 litres water
  • 900 gm salt (coarse)
  • 2 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/2 tbsp Saltpeter.

Day one:

Mix the dry rub, and rub the ham, making sure it’s well covered. If using a 7-8 kilo ham you will need a double batch.

Place the ham in a large container, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a cool place, like the fridge.

Now mix the brine in a pot and cook up and cook for 10 min. Remove the pot from the heat. Remove the foam when it stops bubbling and leave the liquid to cool and save in a cold place. I put it in the fridge.

Day two:

Pour the cold brine over the ham so it is covered.

Store the ham somewhere cold. If you have  a larder or cold store that is great I keep mine in the fridge

Turn the ham from time to time during the curing time. Use clean tongs and plastic gloves.

Let the ham brine for 14-20 days.

IF the brine goes cloudy, make new brine and replace the old brine with that and keep curing it.

Warning: Wear gloves even when dry rubbing. Clever clogs here didn’t the first time and I had a skin reaction all my own fault.

When the ham is cured use your favourite recipe to cook and voila a lovely ham.

I have cooked mine all ways usually I cover with water, bring it to the boil and then drain off all the water. Add fresh water and all my spices…I add a couple of bay leaves, cinnamon stick, mustard seeds, coriander seeds, about 3/4 cloves, a star anise and maybe a cardamom pod also about 2 tbsp of brown sugar…I cook for 20 mins per 500 gm of meat and then allow to cool overnight in the cooking water it is then ready to eat.

Ham- cloves- home cooked

Ham with scored skin studded with cloves

I have also once it has finished cooking scored the fat and studded with cloves, brushed with honey and put in the oven for 20 minutes.

My third way of making ham which I did last Christmas was to use loin of pork instead of the leg. It is also much quicker to brine than a whole leg and only takes between 4-6 days depending on the size of your meat and how salty you like your ham.

I used 2 kilos of Pork Loin.

Ingredients for Rub:

  • 2 tbsp salt (coarse)
  • 1 tbsp  Sugar.
  • 1/4 tbsp Saltpeter(saltpetre)

Ingredients for Brine:

  • 2 1/2  litres water
  • 450 gm salt (coarse)
  • 1 tbsp Sugar
  • 1/4 tbsp Saltpeter.

Mix the ingredients for the rub together and rub over the pork loin.

Place the ham in a large container, cover with a clean tea towel and leave in a cool place, like the fridge.

Now mix the brine in a pot and cook up and cook for 10 min. Remove the pot from the heat. Remove the foam when it stops bubbling and leave to cool and save in a cold place.

Day two:

Pour the cold brine over the ham so it is covered.

Store the ham cold.

Turn the ham from time to time during the curing time. Use clean tongs and plastic gloves.

Let the ham brine for 4-6 days.

Tip: The first time I used loin I left it for 4 days the second time I left it for 5 days which suited our taste… It is always wise to do a test run I think as personal tastes vary.

If I am making crackling ham I buy pork with the skin on and score the fat….when I get to the boiling stage I added water to just below the fat and then when it was cooked I covered the meat with foil leaving just the fat exposed then oiled and salted the fat put it in a high oven to crisp of the crackling…It went down a storm everyone loved it…A bit more work but crispy crackling with your ham…Awesome!

Ham- crackling-home cooked-sliced-platter

Home cooked ham and crackling

Most of the time I but my pork loin without the fat…When curing ham or bacon the meat must be fresh and not frozen.

I hope you are enjoying my Christmas recipes please let me know in comments and also what are your favourite maybe you cook something I haven’t tried or heard of…Please let me know…

About Carol Taylor:

Enjoying life in The Land Of Smiles I am having so much fun researching, finding new, authentic recipes both Thai and International to share with you. New recipes gleaned from those who I have met on my travels or are just passing through and stopped for a while. I hope you enjoy them.

I love shopping at the local markets, finding fresh, natural ingredients, new strange fruits and vegetable ones I have never seen or cooked with. I am generally the only European person and attract much attention and I love to try what I am offered and when I smile and say Aroy or Saab as it is here in the north I am met with much smiling.

Some of my recipes may not be in line with traditional ingredients and methods of cooking but are recipes I know and have become to love and maybe if you dare to try you will too. You will always get more than just a recipe from me as I love to research and find out what other properties the ingredients I use contain to improve our health and wellbeing.

Exciting for me hence the title of my blog, Retired No One Told Me! I am having a wonderful ride and don’t want to get off, so if you wish to follow me on my adventures, then welcome! I hope you enjoy the ride also and if it encourages you to take a step into the unknown or untried, you know you want to…….Then, I will be happy!

Carol is a contributor to the Phuket Island Writers Anthology: https://www.amazon.com/Phuket-Island-Writers-Anthology-Stories-ebook/dp/B00RU5IYNS

Connect to Carol

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/
Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT
Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you once again for reading this post I hope you all have a great week xx

 

 

Tonight I dream , Tomorrow I do !

Another archived post from 2015..Cured Pork Belly, Art and Spiders. I hope you enjoy my older posts as they give you the reader some insight into what makes me tick…

Retired? No one told me!

Well, I flipping hope so.

I have spent days trying to figure out this linking. Had some great advice thank you, you know who you are.

Thought I had cracked it. Wrong! Published it and nought but blanks this picture is soooooo me at the moment.

questions-1922476_1920 (1)Photo source:

Where’s the vino???????

Rant over.

I’ll start again.

Good Morning everyone what a lovely sunny day it is.

The bacon has been sizzlingSAM_6497 and sampled so as promised here you go folks.

The Recipe:

2 Kilo’s Pork Belly.

For every Kilo of Pork use:

2 parts rock salt to 1 part sugar.

4 cloves garlic.

2 bay leaves

A bunch of Lemon Thyme.

20/30 Mustard Seeds,

12 Pepper Corns,

Celery Juice.

Method:

Finely slice bay Leaves and lightly crush with other Spices in Pestle & Mortar.

Combine with Sugar and Salt and mix with Celery juice until damp.

Rub into Pork.SAM_6494

Place Pork in a sealed container…

View original post 270 more words

Healthy Eating! How to cure your own bacon.

lady holding veggies

 

Those of you who know me are well aware of my aversion to anything processed and ham/ bacon is no exception to that rule. The ham you purchase from the shops is just slimy, and not nice at all….The bacon of doubtful origins at best especially where I live now…In the Uk you could get some lovely home cured kinds of bacon and hams not so here or if there is I have not found them….I have also been experimenting with various different ways which may be more healthy…

Bacon contains nitrates which some have an aversion to using or it causes headaches and other adverse symptoms.

Today I am using celery juice..just put in the juicer and out the other side and viola this lovely vibrant green juice.

Now celery also contains nitrates but they are naturally occurring although for some may still cause headaches if your aversion is to chemicals then celery may be a better way to cure your bacon.

I used 2 Kilo’s Pork Belly.

For every Kilo of Pork use I used:

  • 2 parts rock salt to 1 part sugar.
  • 4 cloves garlic.
  • 2 bay leaves
  • A bunch of Lemon Thyme.
  • 20/30 Mustard Seeds,
  • 12 Pepper Corns,
  • Celery Juice as required to make the mix damp.

Method:

Finely slice bay Leaves and lightly crush with other spices in Pestle & Mortar.

Combine with Sugar and Salt and mix with liberal amounts of celery juice until damp.

Rub into Pork.Belly pork rubbed with garlic and lemon thyme

Place Pork in a sealed container or bag ( I used a brining bag). Turn halfway through the week. That is why I like using brining bags as it is much easier to turn the meat over.

Store in the fridge for 5 Days.

After 5 days remove the belly pork and wash thoroughly.

Cook in oven @ 100C for 2 hours. Cool and slice.Home cured belly Streaky bacon

It also looks lovely and pink ( no grey) which means the natural nitrates in the celery juice had worked their magic.

All I need now is a home-made smoker and some lovely flavoured woods. Maybe use some maple syrup, honey, someone suggested coffee..some nice tea springs to my mind so many options…A different blend of herbs or cut of meat..

Have you made your own bacon and if you did what did you use?

Now the tester…How will it taste?

SAM_6497

It smells like bacon, looks like bacon and made a lovely sandwich….  Before you say yes I cut it thinly and no not everyone in the household likes it like that but the beauty of making your own is everyone can have their bacon sliced to their own requirements …How cool is that?

If you start experimenting now you can have some lovely home cured bacon for Christmas or as a lovely present for someone you love …

Next week I will give you the recipe for my home cured ham…

Until then stay safe, have fun and laugh a lot and as you know and if you don’t THEN you have not been reading my posts to the end ….Laughter is proven medically to be the best medicine and it is FREE!

 

 

 

 

Crab Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

Oh Yes …one of our favorite snacks at the moment..anything Jalepeno 🙂

Frugal Hausfrau

Raise your hand if you’ve had this happen: you pick up a lovely little Jalapeno Popper. What looks to be a perfect bit of deliciousness. And that first bite is crunchy raw jalapeno, then bacon pulls off in a chunk, and adding insult to injury, slaps you in the chin with some kind of random, greasy, molten cheesiness. Bummer.

Crab Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers Crab Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Jalapeno Poppers

View original post 302 more words

A writer is simply a photographer of thoughts….

I love this quote,  it certainly resonates with me.

This blog..be warned….may become a rant…I have had a mixed  couple of weeks ..some happy times and some very, very sad times…

I am happy because my not so little Soi Dog has settled in well…has his own blog …and although he chews it’s because he wants to get in or out, well maybe not all of it but he is lovely and I wouldn’t do without him……Soi Dogs do a wonderful job and if you can donate or adopt it would make a little dog very happy.. I have put this link on so you see what great work they do to save the dogs on the streets…….http://soidog.org/en/about-soi-dog

I am happy because back from my retreat my fingers are flying….All of  my short stories are edited and typed up ready for our book to celebrate our retreat and also for the 2nd volume of The Phuket Writers Anthology…which will be out early next year. My cookbook is taking shape and although my novel is a bit on the back burner due to other commitments I have lots of ideas…so all good. So if any of you lovely bloggers want to come along next year it would be great to meet you click on this link to read all about it and the lovely Annie my friend and mentor who is an amazing lady……http://www.globalwritingsolutions.com/Writers_retreat.html

I am happy  because I have ham brining Ham home curedand there is nothing better than homemade ham. Next week I’ll put the recipe I use on my blog as Christmas is coming and it’s that time of year when our thoughts turn to what we should be doing..like.. making our mincemeat and puds so I think I will do a Christmas recipe one..mmmm now that’s a good idea methinks..talked myself into that one..ha ha

I am happy because  one of us  Lori Jean Grace has published a book on Amazon …  A Michelle Angelique Urban Action Adventure Thriller Series Book #1 (Michelle Angelique Avenging Angel Assassin) Kindle Edition…Just click this link to buy :   http://amzn.to/1N2PX8I  Sista’z Revenge is a pacy thriller and Book 1 of a series…….  Love the cover, I have my copy and I can’t wait to read…I know the blood , sweat and tears which have gone into this …….so this afternoon I will settle down with my glass of chilled vino and read.

Sista'z Revenge

Now to the sadness I am heart-broken for a good friend of mine..who lost her son Phillip to Cancer this morning Friday 13th, he was 1 year and 11 days older than my son. None of us think our children will go before us..none…I keep reading of all these alternative cures maybe they work, maybe they don’t, maybe they can be used alongside conventional medicine..maybe it will stop being about money…maybe the big pharmaceuticals will lose their stranglehold on the world of medicine…so many maybe’s ..

I am sad that human life is worth less in some parts of this beautiful world than a bottle of water.

I am sad for Phillips mum and dad who now have the added pain of watching their only daughter fight cancer . Their only two children and both have this disease???

I am sad for those two little boys who have lost a beloved uncle and have a sick mother.

I am sad of being sad and wish with all my heart that God would step in and right some wrongs, that governments, teachers,anyone who can..and doesn’t….does…

I am sad because I have woken up and read about the terrible loss of life in France … Bombs and shootings …so many innocent people…….so many lives lost.

So if I only had two wishes in my life…. it would be for a cure for Cancer and other terrible diseases and World Peace……. methinks none of that will come to pass in my lifetime…I hope it does in my children’s and grand children’s……..

maudlin or What????? Next time it will be Christmas Recipes and all bright and jolly…….today  I just can’t muster that feeling of joy..so heart broken for my friend and her family…..

 

Until next time stay safe..be happy and love your neighbour unless of course the bass Music blaringis banging out at silly o’clock………….

You don’t have to put an age limit on your dreams!

I truly think that is true..in my wildest dreams and imagination I would have never, ever thought I would be doing what I do now or live where I live…..even my thoughts are different to even 5 years ago..maybe this is what I really always wanted but life sometimes overtakes you, gets in the way all sorts of reasons or maybe I just didn’t have the courage…I am certainly braver than I was…I speak about things I would never have before and to strangers…I respond to blogs with an ..I don’t know…maybe abandon….I am definitely calmer…pfffff that’s a relief..not so hot-headed as when I was young…..still don’t like my photo taken ……..I have been reading many blogs lately..some political so I can try to understand some of the things going on in the world..but I also think that sometimes however much you learn or think you understand..some people are just bad, through and through…

I read blogs about what is being put in our food and drink,  again so much to plough through…… once you start clicking on links….so I have decided that rather than becoming paranoid I will do what I think is reasonable for me, for us..my family……some things we eat very rarely or the quantities are so minute..for example…I brine my own ham and baconSAM_6497..why?….well because I have more time to do so…Because I don’t like slimy, processed ham..yuk…so again… research…so much information….do I use ” Salt Petre” or natural brining agents…mmmmmmm well tried celery juice..it was ok and I like celery but not as an after taste in my bacon…..well I deduced from all my findings that for the amount used and the dilution ratio that it wasn’t that much of a risk..my opinion let me say…..the human body can process  small amounts….however if we contracted botulism because I didn’t use it..it’s likely that the human body would not fight that successfully…no brainer really…my opinion guys…so as I don’t eat bacon sarnies every single day and two on Sundays as well as having a shop bought,additive laden BLT (bacon, lettuce and tomato) sandwich for lunch 5 days a week…..and eat ham or bacon in every other guise  for the remainder of my weeks meals then I’m pretty safe I think.

I read blogs about vaccinations..or one blog that I chanced upon and it presented both sides of the argument/discussion…… again my opinion but the increase in bad cases of measles and whooping-cough lead me to think that immunisation is not a bad thing….again my opinion.

I  also read a previous post on this blog which was about people who ..like me….have lovely island views, dogs, cats, food,etc but no pic of themselves and saying…. “Who are you really?”..it was actually well written and made me think …that in this day and age we have to be really careful who we chat to…so after much deliberation …I have decided that you lot are all grownups and if I post a mug shot of me…..it won’t keep you awake at night …so…..Ta Da!

Blondieaka.

Blondieaka.

Wow what a week!

Well where to start……the nest has eggs in it once again and mummy is busy keeping them warm she only leaves when she is hungry and the other day when the heavens opened bless her she sat, she was soaked but she sat on those little eggs.

You could also hear a pin drop…hark! shhhhhhhhh it’s so quiet.

Everyone is away visiting nannies,brothers and mum’s oh and the dreaded visa run…..

So what have I been doing?????

Oh it’s been a hive of activity, courtesy of my Indonesian friend she gave a cooking lesson on how to make Beef Rendang and it’s quite preparation heavy but so worth it and I left with not only …a sample and the recipe but leaves ( turmeric) for when I attempt mine and hints and tips galore..thank you Mamik.

And of course I will share with you.

I have a lovely Pork Loin brining away and it will be ready by Wednesday for my Majong buddies to sample.

Had a glut of Cucumbers so they are now sliced and packed into jars and nearly ready to eat.

SAM_6880………….I used 4 cucumbers ( they are short ones here) not long like in Uk . Peel and slice ( I sliced quite thickly) 1 Large Onion peeled and sliced, 3 cups vinegar, I cup water, 1/4- 1/2 cup sugar or spendida sweetener( I only used just under quarter cup and salt to season if required. Whisk together in jug.Put alternate slices of cucumber and onion in jar until full , pour in vinegar mix to top of jar making sure to cover completely. Screw on lid and refrigerate . Ready to eat in 2 days if you can resist we often can’t.

My lovely neighbour came bearing gifts of Mangoes so they have been duly pureed and in the freezer..would have been Ice Cream cos I came across a lovely recipe for mango ice cream with sea salt and chilli..yum! I was drooling..short lived.. when I read further down the said recipe I need an Ice Cream Machine and guess who doesn’t have one?

Well trawled the second-hand sites as a lot of people only live here a short while and then sell practically new goods before they move on…..and lo and behold I found one but didn’t want the freezer that went with it…or do I..more storage for my cooking……mmmmmm the jury’s out on that one…..

But I need a new camera more? Do I ? mmmmmm Ice cream plus freezer or Camera?

And of course I have been working on my novel and trying to master that pesky Scrivener..it will not beat me….. I think if I keep telling myself that often enough I will be a master at it before I can say BOO!

Oh and I was also sent a recipe by a dear Swiss friend for ” Suure Mocke ” , or Sauerbraten, marinated Beef a family recipe so I will try it and pass it on to you my friends…sounds good, the Beef is marinated for 5 days in the vino..yes 5 days folks..sound yum or  sound yummy???

So all in all it’s been a week of learning and experimenting for me I love it.

Well I hope you have enjoyed my ramblings I am now off to see if I can locate my Curry Seedlings that some nice man has sent me …when tracking it said ” out for delivery” address not recognised, carded..now does that mean they left a card? if so where?  if address not recognised?…mmmmm no wonder the birds nest in my post box cos the postman sure does not use it grrrrrrrrrrr..as we say TIT ( This is Thailand) Wish me luck!

Enjoy until next time happy reading and have fun x