It seems such a simple thing, but bacon like one has in the UK just doesn't seem to exist here. Last year some pals brought down our gammony pig-leg from Brighton so we were able to do the Christmas ham . But no-one was coming this way this year.
So I thought I might try curing it myself. It's bound to take lots of experimentation, so I'll record what happens here in case anyone else fancies having a go. If it works I'd like to try bacon, so fingers crossed.
Thus far I have steeped our 2kg half leg of pork in a brine comprising 300 grams of salt, 2 heaped teaspoons of black treacle, bay leaves and wild juniper berries and about three litres of water (enough to cover). I kept it in a stainless steel container with a heavy plate keeping the pork below the water, and covered with a lid. I left it like that for four days, which I suspect won't be enough, but I don't want to oversalt it.
Next it had to be wrapped in muslin. Needless to say we don't have any, so we've improvised with a bit of an unused Ikea muslin curtain in a fetching shade of yellow. It's now hanging in the chill of the big hall for the next 24 hours. After that I'm going to smoke it over the fire in the downstairs kitchen for 24 hours. Then we'll try cooking it, making sure we have an ambulance on stand-by in case it all goes horribly wrong.
Watch this space.