Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s home cured bacon chops

This recipe comes from an article in the Guardian Weekend Magazine and it looked delicious, so I thought that I’d try it.

The recipe is pretty simple;

4 large pork chops
2 tbsp sunflower oil or groundnut oil

For the cure
50g fine sea salt
25g caster sugar or soft brown sugar
3 bay leaves, finely shredded
12-16 juniper berries, crushed
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper

Combine all the ingredients for the cure and put them in a plastic container or nonreactive dish. Add the chops and rub lightly all over with the cure. Cover and leave it in the fridge for 12 hours (or up to 24 hours for extra-large or thick-cut pork chops, but no longer). Turn the chops once or twice during this time, if you can.

Rinse the chops and pat dry. You can cook them immediately, or keep them in the fridge for five to six days – the flavour will continue to improve over time. They also freeze well.

To cook the chops, heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and fry them fairly gently for six minutes a side, until cooked through. (Alternatively, brush them lightly with the oil and grill.) Season with pepper (they’ll be salty enough from the cure) and serve with mashed potato and wilted greens.

I also had a dollop of Colman’s mustard on the side and this worked very well.

So, how was it?

Well, it was good and I definitely think I’ll use this idea again.

The cure is salty, possibly a bit too salty for me generally, but I can see why a home cure needs that amount of salt. You need to make sure you are getting some preservation.

The chops were definitely bacon-flavoured, but not like any commercial bacon you will eat.

As a dish – recommended.

Next time, I am going to try the cured belly pork. I can see that working really well.

We had a bottle of St Emilion Grand Cru with this. It was a Laithwaites wine, 2008 Château de Lisse. A decent Bordeaux red, given a couple of hours in a decanter, but not really one that set the pulses racing. I quite liked it, but I think it lacks depth and finish. A wine that I’ll give another go in about 6-8 months. It could open out a bit.


One thought on “Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall’s home cured bacon chops

  1. Other advice for this process is to leave for 24 hours, poor off the salty liquid, rub again with the salt mixture, repeat for 4-6 days (depending on the cut of pork), then soak for an hour or two in water empty water, then soak again for an hour in clean water. then hang for 24-48 hours until a surface coating has formed.

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