Wednesday, January 5, 2011
SPICED BACON !??! FOR CHRISTMAS
I remember Grandma Sarah Wrigley Kirkham and later my mother serving spiced bacon at Christmas. From conversations about this food, I think it came from a recipe passed down in our family from England. Since, in early days, people made (or spiced) their own bacon or fresh side pork, this is probably one of many recipes to do so.
By the time I came on the scene, this meat was served only at Christmastime. That could have been true of spiced bacon in England, seeing that two spices included in it were probably expensive at that time, so it was served as a Christmas treat.
When I was young, a slab of fresh side pork was purchased, sprinkled with the spices, rolled into a roll and tied with a string at least two weeks before serving (so the spices would have time to permeate the meat), then was sliced into bacon strips on Christmas morning, cooked and served.
I have seen the method evolve and today, a few days before Christmas, I purchase several pounds of sliced fresh side pork at the local store. If there is a choice, I always have it sliced thick (as opposed to thin – learned from sad experience). It comes looking like a package of bacon. Usually I call ahead to make sure the store I am going to has fresh side pork. Not all stores carry it. At home I open the packages, and spread the bacon in a 9 x 12 pan, one layer at a time, sprinkling the spices on the meat with a salt shaker. If the meat was bought several days before Christmas, it can be covered and stored in the freezer. If prepared one or two days before Christmas, cover and store in refrigerator.
Our Christmas Breakfast consists usually of juice, pancakes, eggs, and spiced bacon. We know that Christmas is really here when the aroma of spiced bacon permeates the house and makes our mouths water and our minds turn to our wonderful heritage.
1 lb fresh side pork
1 tsp sugar, salt, cloves, cinnamon mixed together in a shaker