Welcome to the very first in a series of blog posts titled ‘The 12 Gifts Of Christmas’ – these blogs will count down the 12 weeks until Christmas, yes people it really is that close. The posts will hopefully give you some gift ideas for all those foodies that you know and love, making things a little easier for you in the run up to the big day.
Each post will feature different gift ideas, aimed at a different niche. This one kicks things off by looking at a completely different gift idea for the ‘Bacon Lover’ in your life.
Amongst meat eaters, there aren’t many who can resist a Bacon Sandwich, but we need to remember that not all bacon is created equal.
Growing up I was always a fan of Back Bacon, with its meaty medallion and only gently cooked, however as I get older I have grown more and more fond of the Streaky kind, mainly due to its versatility in recipes and what I find to be a better flavour.
Either in a bacon sandwich or cut finely and made in to a crispy topping for fish or a jacket spud, for me its a must have in the house and I don’t think you’ll ever find my fridge empty of it.
Streaky bacon is made by simply curing a piece of Pork Belly, but there are a couple of different methods for doing this.
Firstly there is wet curing, which calls for the injecting of a curing solution (Brine) into the meat itself. The problem with this method is that you end up with bacon that has a high water content. You know a wet cured bacon, as it is the type that shrivels up in the pan, or has white residue coming out as you cook it.
The alternative method is Dry Curing, which requires the meat to be rubbed with a special salt/nitrate mix and left to cure for a number of days, this method draws out the moisture and the bacon may appear smaller. In my opinion this method gives a superior flavour, plus it’s easy to do it yourself at home with the right ingredients and tools.
So what better a gift for a Foodie that loves bacon, than their very own Bacon Making kit so they can make this for themselves – and YOU.
I’ve been trying out a fantastic kit produced by Ross and Ross Foods, an award winning fine foods company based in the Cotswolds.
Their Bacon Making kit comes with everything you needs for curing not one, but three 500g Pork Belly’s.
You receive three packets of Salts, each with a different flavour, gloves, curing bags, a sack for hanging the meat and even a butchers hook can be ordered here
The curing takes around 7-10 days, at the end of which time you have a product that not only tastes great, but also will impress anyone that you serve it to.
The bacon produced from this kit is not only easy to produce, but tastes far superior than anything you will buy from a supermarket, serve it up to family and friends, just don’t tell them it was easy and allow them to marvel at your skills.
I would recommend that you get your pork belly from a good butcher, and ask them to remove the rind for you. It just makes the whole process even easier.
I have to say that my favourite flavour from the kits was the Maple and Chipotle. A slightly sweet cured bacon, with a bit of a chilli hit. For me this was the most flavoursome, but also most unique, unlike any bacon I’ve had before.
I couldn’t do a post featuring Ross and Ross without a mention to some of their other great ideas.
One of my favourites, has to be their Roast Potato Oil. I’ve always been a massive Roastie fan, but they need to be flavoursome and crispy. Coming up with the perfect roastie can be a real art, but with their Oil it is made a lot simpler.
Made from a good quality Rapeseed Oil and enhanced with the ideal flavour match of Rosemary and Garlic.
The Roast Potato Oil can be bought on its own, or as part of their Roast Dinner Box, which also comes with some flavour ‘Dusts’. You then use these to Rub over your Chicken or to sprinkle onto other components of your dinner, giving it a magical lift.
SPECIAL GIVEAWAY – WIN YOUR OWN BACON MAKING KIT
In celebration of the launch of the 12 Gifts of Christmas Blog Posts, I have teamed up with Ross and Ross to offer one lucky reader the chance to win their very own Making Bacon Kit, but not just any Kit, but there Ultimate Bacon Sandwich Kit, this not only comes with everything you need to make your own bacon, but some great sauces from Foraging Fox and Pips to really enhance your bacon Sandwich.
To be entered into the competition, click here to head over to @dandohertyblog on twitter and follow the instructions on the pinned tweet – competition closes 29th October 2018.