Tag Archives: Pork Crackling

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

 

 

Retired No One Told Me! Weekly Roundup…Pork Crackling, Red Bananas and Noodles…

Weekly Roundup 28th July

Welcome to Saturday’s weekly roundup there has been lots going on this week as well as the rain ( it is) low season but it is quite welcome as it cools it down a little I am getting quite good at sleeping with the steady drips from my leaky roof in my ears.( yes) still leaking and they came to mend it this week.. If anyone has any ideas of torturing me by water …Forget it!

So feet up, drink to the ready are you comfy? Let’s Go!

lady relaxing kindle-1867751_1280

Anyway enough of water and rain as I know many of you are praying for rain which I hope you are blessed with very soon… First off this beautiful looking protein drink.

Papaya and Custard Apple Protein Drink

My gift of produce this week was some lovely custard apples and I was pleasantly surprised at how good they tasted raw they were not as sweet as I thought they would be and very good for you…What did I make with some custard apple? A lovely protein drink with Papaya and Custard apple …No nasties and powdered proteins just lovely fresh fruit and protein…So easy and cost-effective when you know how…

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/07/24/papaya-and-custard-apple-protein-shake/

Next, was a little tutorial for you on how to make perfect pork crackling every time… Now who doesn’t love a bot of Pork crackling?

How To Make Crispy Pork Crackling

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/07/25/perfect-pork-crackling/

Wednesday already and time for my cookery column over at Sally’s and this week it was oodles of noodles…Also, a little tutorial on how to make those glass noodle rolls easy when you know how…

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/25/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-food-and-cookery-column-with-carol-taylor-thai-noodles/

Next an interview over at Debby’s with the lovely Sally who tirelessly helps all of us by promoting our books and blogs…I give you Sally Cronin.

https://dgkayewriter.com/guest-author-feature-sally-cronin-friendship-sneak-peak-upcoming-book/

Me again with my healthy eating and little rants about the foibles of my favourite manufacturers…sneaky they are…

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/07/25/healthy-eating-but-is-it/

Sally then kindly reblogged one of the posts from my archives, Travel Thailand and Heaven and Hell… This image is the tree of life women hanging like flowers.

Heaven and hell Nong Khai

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/07/26/smorgasbord-posts-from-your-archives-travel-thailand-wat-baan-waeng-or-heaven-and-hell-by-carol-taylor/

Yesterday here in Thailand was the celebration of the biggest festival of the year Asanha Bucha day. A day when offerings are taken to the temple and often candles and lots of sermons and prayers.

offering-candles

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/07/27/asanha-bucha-day-thailand/

Another unusual fruit the Red Banana which was given to us to try they are very nice slightly different to the normal banana for more info click the link.

Red Bananas (2)

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/07/27/fruity-friday-the-red-banana/

That’s all for this week I hope you enjoyed the roundup…which was your favourite post ??? Let me know in comments I love hearing from you x

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest ( 1): https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Thank you  for reading and have a lovely weekend x

 

Retired No One Told Me! Weekly Roundup…Apples, Crispy Crackling and Mr M…

 

Weekly Roundup Retired no one told me! 17th May

Welcome to this weeks roundup of posts…As from this week, it will only contain posts from Retired No one told me…I have decided I am only going to run one blog…It is too much and I am not getting time to write as much as I would like so I have decided not to renew the domain forthwith.

First, out of the starting blocks, this week was my interview x 20 questions with the lovely Esme… from The Recipe Hunter…If you really want to know more about me then head over and have a read… I am sure it will be enlightening…haha

https://cookandenjoyrecipes.wordpress.com/2018/05/11/interview-with-carol-taylor-from-retired-no-one-told-me/

Fruity Fridays…

I thought I would showcase the Apple as although the apple is very popular I also think it is slightly taken for granted as a fruit.

Carol cooks! (1) Apples Collage

I absolutely love seeing the trees covered in the apple blossom …don’t you?

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/05/12/fruity-fridays-apples/ 

It then was the turn of one of the attractions for which Thailand is known for and that is the beautiful temples …

Wat Pa Phu Kon (27)

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/05/13/must-see-thai-temples/

Then I reblogged an interview with a man who needs no introduction…The one and only Mr M… a man who always supports us and is a true gentleman.

christmastime mr M

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/05/13/the-smorgasbord-sunday-interview-getting-to-know-you-the-militant-negro/

Obesity which is a worldwide problem and it seems to be one which is more prevalent in the western world due to many lifestyle factors…Little or no exercise, eating too much processed foods, sugars, salt and fast foods, eating on the go or sitting in front of the TV all day because the countries which eat their meals together, cook from scratch and walk instead of driving have a much lower incidence of obesity.

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/05/15/healthy-eatingno-more-dietsobesity-around-the-world-canada/

Travel Thailand and the tradition of weaving …Weaving is still carried out often under the houses and the skill passed down through the generations is still going strong…We were lucky to discover a lady weaving on her loom under her house who allowed us to take photos…I just love it when we are out and about and chance upon a scene like this it makes it all the more special.

lady weaving

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/05/16/travel-thailand-the-ancient-art-of-weaving-thai-silk/

It was then over to Sally’s where I can indulge my love of cooking… I also forgot …Did anyone notice? To add the picture of the crackling …so here it is…showing the bit I burnt as well… Yes, I burn things quite regularly…

Cooked Pork Loin

https://smorgasbordinvitation.wordpress.com/2018/05/16/smorgasbord-blog-magazine-the-cookery-and-food-column-with-carol-taylor-pork-perfect/

Lastly, we have another chapter of The Charade….have you been following it???

https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/2018/05/16/the-charade-2/

Want to see more from me???? I am a crazy English lady with a quirky sense of humour…Still, want to see more from me???

Connect to Carol( Moi)

Blog: https://blondieaka.wordpress.com/

Twitterhttps://twitter.com/TheRealCarolT

Facebookhttps://www.facebook.com/carol.taylor.1422

Pinterest ( 1): https://www.pinterest.com/caroltaylor56/pins/

Until next time when it will be Fruity Friday..what fruit will I showcase ??? Well, you will have to be there to find out so if you haven’t already subscribed to my posts then to continue to see what my topic of conversation is  then please subscribe to my posts… See you soon xxx

 

 

 

You don’t have to live forever, you just have to live!

Merry Christmas!….only 9 days to go….are you all busy braving the hordes of shoppers this weekend…or arm chair shopping..i’m a bit of both……We have been busy ..still putting up Decorations and tree looks lovely…. but no snow…….I am in a reflective mood as I think we should all remember those less fortunate than ourselves or those alone or recently bereaved as we get into the swing of the festivities….I miss my dad..especially at Christmas.

He was a strict father and a stickler for meals being on time…..one Christmas I compromised to try to please everyone…as you do… and having about an hour to go…cooking in full swing…my kids said “mum..mum..have you seen what Grandad is doing”?….you would never guess…….there he was sitting up the table in the dining room…knife in one hand and fork in tother……waiting……me… I hissed at the kids ” talk to him..get him a drink..anything” … I laugh now as I picture him in my mind…do miss you dad xxx

SAM_6228…My favorite Pork & Basil ( Moo Pad Horapa)…I must cook this at least 3/4 times a week…I have it for breakfast ,lunch or dinner and that is another thing I love about Thailand you eat what you fancy and when …no set breakfast dishes, or any meal…just what you fancy. …Recipe next week….

Early morning trip to the market 6.30 am…..lovely Pork Roast today…..cooked by my son…well he does cook most days… every week…my friends ask if I can hire him out…lol..and love it when they get an invite as his Pork Crackling ” Is the nuts” his phrasing not mine..ha ha…So just because I can…ha ha….

SAM_6229 ……I’ll post the before and after pics……the smell of garlic and rosemary stuffing is divine…………….SAM_6230…..while I am waiting I am going to watch X Factor before anyone puts the result on FB and spoils it for me..lol

Well no sun today…..just very overcast….no rain yet…..

Tomorrow I think I will get all my Christmas cloths etc out and plan my table and might do a trial run of Mince Pies….the mince meat has been fermenting,brewing whatever for a few months now so I think a taste testing is in order and just the smell of them cooking may make me feel a little more Christmassy..it’s definately the cold and SNOW…that makes that Christmas feeling and atmosphere…you all so know that until Christmas is over I’m gonna keep harping on about snow and cold ….going back to the UK @ the end September for my nieces wedding…first visit in 4 years so think I may stretch it out for a few weeks so I can soak up some Christmas Cheer and do some shopping…proper size wrapping paper for one ! Yay….

SAM_6233Just look at that lovely crackling! I will say my son is a brilliant chef and I will be his Sous chef any day…….Tastes amazing…just saying…sorry peeps if you lived closer I would invite you to taste test…ha ha….

Once Christmas is over then it won’t be long until my oldest son comes over with his 3 kids and we haven’t seen the kids since we came to Thailand and it is their first visit here so will be busy planning some trips…methinks Big Buddha will be a good one as they can see the Elephants( Chang) and experience some great Thai food and a beautiful view..maybe hire a quad to scoot through the jungle on or an elephant trek.

SAM_3941 (1)

Tchau…any guesses?…..no?……it’s goodbye in Portuguese.

Until next time…

Sayonara.

 

.