I love bacon butties. So much so that I have one nearly every weekend.
So when the people at Denhay Farms said could they send me some of their bacon to try, I was hardly going to argue.
In fact they sent me everything I needed to make a bacon butty bar the bread. Fortunately I’d just baked a loaf.
I know there will be howls of protest from some of you that its on brown bread. Tough. I like it on brown, or white.
And the bacon, very tasty though sliced a little on the thin side for me, so I just shoved an extra rasher in ;o
This morning there was an almost breakfast crisis when I realised we didn’t have any bacon. Then I remembered we had LOTS of eggs.
So we made eggs benedict. YUM.
I used this BBC recipe for the hollandaise (shockingly I’d never tried to make it before). We didn’t have enough wine vinegar so instead of the reducing stage I just used one tablespoon of lemon juice – it made a lighter less comples sauce but it was still good.
Definitely a keeper for lazy weeked breakfast.
Apparently this last week has been Bacon Week here in the UK. A chance to get to know some premium bacons.
In my house every week is bacon week, I love the stuff. Though I try not to go too mad.
Imagine my delight then when I received this from the kind people at Real Bacon:
A large box with rather a lot of premium bacon in it for me to try. YUM.
I normally get my bacon either from the local farmers market or from a farm shop. But how could I resist free bacon and you know someone’s got to test this stuff for you.
There were 3 different premium dry cured unsmoked back bacon’s for me to try, 2 packs of each
All from outdoor bred (though not necessarily raised) pigs and also all air dried.
So to try we had:
Marks & Spencer Outdoor Bread Dry Cure Smoked Back: rubbed with cheshire rock salt and cured for 5 days before air drying for 14 days
Sainsburys Taste the Difference Dry Cure Unsmoked Back: cured with sea salt and air dried for 14 days to Jack Scaife of Keighly family recipe
Tesco Finest: cured for 17 days to Richard Woodall of Cumbria family recipe
In all cases we made bacon butties with the bacon and also tasted some straight from the pan (we dry fried).
Yes all were good and if I needed decent bacon and had run out of my stash from farmers markets I’d happily buy any of these. If I had a choice of the three I’d go for the Sainsbury which was not too salty and nicely bacony although it gave off some liquid when cooked it had the best taste. The M&S was more salty which took away rom the bacony-ness but if you like salt this is the one to go for. The Tesco was milder all round still a good bacon but a little bit less interesting.
In the interests of fairness I didn’t know which bacon I was being given on any of the occasions I sampled them.
So if you don’t have a good bacon producer you know of then these three make tasty alternatives. I’ll be sticking with my farmers market supplier but if I run out I now know there are some good alternatives at the supermarket
The votes are in.
We asked whether people preferred their bacon butty with ketchup, brown sauce, neither, or as the mood took them.
First of all thanks to everyone who voted – this was only my second blog poll and I’m pleased to have increased the voting level by 350% (from 4 to 14 – ah well). As the week progressed I watched the poll avidly and the ‘brown sauce’ gang got off to a flying start picking up many of the early votes. But ketchup caught up as the week progressed just nudging ahead at the final count.
The results were:
Ketchup: 42% (6 votes)
Brown Sauce: 35% (5 votes)
Neither: 7% (1 vote)
Go with the mood: 14% (2 votes)
Not in the least scientific with such a small electorate but it did make me wonder whether the red’s vs the brown’s had anything in common other than their choice of sauce (boys/girls, north/south, working class/posh). Perhaps for another poll another day.
And a couple of quotes that were sent to me direct:
“But I have my bacon butty with brown and red and there isn’t such an option?!”
“…it’s “a no brainer”. When I think of it, I’m about as likely to vote Tory as I am to put red sauce on a bacon sandwich.”
Well there’s no accounting for taste is there but thanks for letting us know.
Oh and by the way it’s ‘Bacon Connoisseur’s Week’ from 16 March (as spotted on Aidan Brooks: Trainee Chef) – like we need an excuse to eat bacon?
For those of you unfamiliar with the term ‘butty’ the OED defines it as follows:
butty (also buttie) noun (pl. butties) informal, chiefly N. English a filled or open sandwich: a bacon butty. – ORIGIN mid 19th cent.: from BUTTER+-Y.
Or perhaps think about Ken Dodd for a moment and the jam butty mines – or maybe don’t. Also, of course, there are chip butties and cheese butties. In essence any kind of sandwich can be called a butty although I’m not sure you’d apply the term to something filled with chicken and avocado or crayfish and rocket or cucumber…..now there’s a thought a cucumber butty – a new slant on afternoon tea.
Anyway back on the bacon butty trail – this morning I had a great example rustled up for breakfast from some beer cured back bacon, some sautéed portobello mushrooms, a good dollop of ketchup (my favourite Stokes Real Ketchup – yum) and 2 slices of properly chewy wholemeal.
It was great.
But then I’m probably biased as I made it.
I’ve been thinking about my favourite foods recently, listing, considering, adding, subtracting, juggling, testing…….although I’ve not quite got to my top 5 just yet I’m getting close.
But one thing that has just got to be on there is MUSHROOMS.
I love them in all their different guises. From elegant looking oysters to hearty portobellos and every stop in between, they are a (very) regular feature of my cooking. Stews, stir fries, omelette, risotto, pasta and fry ups.
But I’d stake a lot on the two best ways being:
1. Sauteed in butter and eaten on toast (rye or sourdough for preference)
2. The thing that makes a bacon sandwich truly great (oh joy)
And here are some big fat organic field mushrooms cut into generous sized chunks being sauteed in butter – wonderful, wonderful, wonderful.