10 days ago I received Curing & Smoking by Steven Lamb. Within minutes of receiving the book I was turning pages as fast as I could. It was immediately apparent that this is serious book on the subject but at the same time utterly readable and very encouraging for those who’ve never cured or smoked before. I couldn’t wait to get started on making my own streaky bacon and my enthusiasm to start within minutes has taught me my first lesson – ‘you can’t make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear’. Or, in this case decent streaky bacon out of supermarket belly pork which I’d rushed off and bought about an hour after receiving the book!
Next time, which wont be long, I’ll get some quality belly from the thick end with lots of fat in it. Having said that, this morning I cut some rashers from this first piece of streaky and made a bacon sarnie with home-made bread. The bacon had the best flavour of any bacon I’ve ever eaten! With a decent piece of belly to start with it must be out of this world. Here’s how it was done.
Until now one of my favourite books on cookery has been Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery by Jane Grigson but this has now been usurped by Steven Lamb’s book.