Following on from my article on the Sausage Butty (The Sausage Butty), and the many requests for a follow up (well one, thanks Hogz), I have decided to put pen to paper and write about the Bacon Sarnie.
There is a 12 step program for bacon addicts. Never be more than 12 steps away from bacon. Now, either you like bacon, or you are wrong. It is a proven fact that any plan involving bacon has a 99% chance of working out.
If you have 30 pieces of bacon and you eat 28 of them, what do you have now? The answer is not 2.
You have happiness, it is that simple.
Bacon is the oldest processed meat in history. The Chinese began salting pork bellies as early as 1500 BC. “Bringing home the bacon” the origin of this phrase is sometimes suggested to be the story of the Dunmow Flitch. This tradition, which still continues every four years in Great Dunmow, Essex, is based on the story of a local couple who, in 1104, impressed the Prior of Little Dunmow with their marital devotion to the point that he awarded them a flitch [a side] of bacon. The continuing ritual of couples showing their devotion and winning the prize, to considerable acclamation by the local populace, is certainly old and well authenticated. Geoffrey Chaucer mentions it in The Wife of Bath’s Tale and Prologue, circa 1395. It may also be the greased pig catching competition where the winner won the pig. Who knows.
Bacon comes from the belly of a pig. A 200 lb pig will produce about 20 lb of bacon.
Bacon is a type of salt-cured pork it ts prepared from several different cuts of meat, typically from the pork belly or from back cuts, which have less fat than the belly. The word “Bacon” is derived from the Old High German bacho, meaning “buttock”, “ham” or “side of bacon”.
Before we go on, you may have reservations about eating bacon, so here is a simple flowchart:
The Bacon Sarnie:
You would think it would be a simple case of substituting your sausage, with bacon, but no, it is not! The sausage is a much different shape! There are three main components to the perfect Bacon Sarnie, the first of course is bacon, then the bread, then the sauce. So let’s take each in turn:
You may have your own favourite, mine is Denhay, dry cured smoked back bacon, and you should be able to find it in most supermarkets. Morrisons also do their Old-fashioned cure British back bacon which is excellent. Another firm favourite is the Tesco Finest Smoked Wiltshire Cure Thick Cut Bacon. You may well have a local butcher, they nearly always have a more expensive, but excellent piece for you.
Some of the cheaper “Pumped” bacon are not always bad from a taste point of view. “Pumped” means they prod it with many needles and pump water into it. If you pan fry it you get all those white bits. I avoid buying this cheap stuff, but, better a bacon sarnie than no bacon sarnie, especially if someone else is doing the cooking.
Most of us will simply put it into a frying pan, or maybe grill it, however, my preference is instead to heat the oven to 425 degrees F, which is 220 degrees C or Gas mark 7. Set a cooling rack inside a rimmed baking sheet (to let the fat drip off), I use the grill pan in the oven, spread out the bacon, and cook until crisp, 10 to 15 minutes, keep an eye on it, we do not want a shriveled piece.
This method gives time to get the bread ready and saves you slaving over a hot frying pan. It also means you can get about 20 rashers cooking at the same time, for example when you have the decorators in.
Many will prefer a bap or a roll, but a simple decent white bread is of course the best. I like mine fresh and moist.
I also like butter spread on the bread, thinly, not too much, do not want dribbling to occur later.
The typical size slice of bread requires four rashers of bacon, though I suppose if you were desperate, 3 would suffice. When serving guests, always have at least 3 rashers between two slices, we must maintain our standards.
As Bacon is fairly flat, unlike your sausage, you can have a triple decker, so three slices of bread with four rashers of bacon between each.
There is a debate about toasting the bread. I’m playing Breville’s advocate here and would just say no.
This is where there will be some disagreement, but brown sauce is a must have for me. Obviously some of the ladies here and indeed our ghey men readers may prefer tomato sauce, which is perfectly acceptable. Salt and freshly ground pepper are also perfectly acceptable, according to taste.
As with the sausage butty, spread your sauce on the bread, nice and evenly, and this will help avoid any dribbling.
If anyone thinks that putting mustard or mayonnaise on a bacon sarnie is a thing to do, then you are sick and perverted and you should be ashamed of yourself. You probably eat quiche and drink lager as well.
Now, there is an argument for a BLT sandwich, I wish to make it clear here what this actually means:
A well cooked rasher, served on a moist bed, is what separates us from normies. Enjoy.
© Phil the test manager 2018