Sunday, February 17, 2013

Makin' bacon

So, the nearly 15 year old came home a week or so ago with his Term 1 Science assessment. Over four pages of explanation, essentially his task is to think up an experiment that relates to a "problem", do the experiment, and then report on it.
We were brain storming stuff that he could report on. I asked him, what do you like doing? Eating, he says. At 183cm and barely 60 kilos, you would never guess, but still. OK, what's your favourite food? Right on cue, he says "Bacon". I knew we were on fruitful territory here, because we'd often discussed the problem with bacon you buy ie. what you left with, after the fat and brine is cooked out of it is only a shadow of what you start with.
It didn't take long to formulate the experiment. We'd experiment cooking with different types of bacon - generic supermarket bacon, butcher bacon, bacon made with free range pork to see which type contains the most fat and water. And to make things interesting, I suggested "How about we make our own bacon to compare"? That's why we're makin' bacon.
I've never delved into making our own smallgoods, so this is new territory for me. Far from doing extensive research, I simply looked up Darina Allen's Forgotten Skills of Cooking, which goes into all this sort of stuff. Sure enough, there are recipes in there for making bacon. Above is a kilo of pork belly which is three days into a dry cure process. So far, so simple. In fact, a little bit too simple - I'm worried whether I've missed something. You know, in the back of my mind is the thought - what if I poison someone?? Eek!
We'll keep you posted. Hopefully.


africanaussie said...

isnt it strange how we are quite happy to leave who knows who to process our food, and then as soon as we start doing it ourselves we get nervous? I remember making my own preserved meat and how wonderful it was, and i knew exactly what was in it...

Paola said...

Thanks for that comment - I'll try and go to it with confidence!

Cabbage Tree Farm said...

Hope it turns out well, will be interested to see the result.