Sweet, spicy, salty, crunchy, that jerky like chew, what a treat this is. Whether you garnish a bloody mary on a lazy sunday to soothe Saturday’s overindulgence, or simply as a side at a party, perhaps you just want a naughty snack! Whatever your reason/excuse to make these, make enough as they will fly out, I guess pigs can fly when caramelised in brown sugar and lathered in Sriracha!
Ok, enough jokes bacon is serious work. With the power to convert some vegetarians i.e my Wife from time to time, shhhhh!. Or the smell to find its way upstairs to the nostrils of the teen sleeping off a hangover. I’m sure somewhere someone, has written a thesis on how anything wrapped in bacon is delicious, and I believe (no citation needed).
cured meat from the sides and belly of a pig, having distinct strips of fat and typically served in thin slices.
cured meat from the back of a pig.Also the most tastiest thing on earth!
Maybe I added that last part, but you get the idea.
No matter your preference of type of bacon there are a few things you should know about the ‘cure’. I’m going to set aside back bacon and only talk about streaky bacon. Back bacon has a poor ratio of meat to fat which affects the cooking, texture and flavour of the finished product. As a child we would eat back bacon, maybe it was an English thing? I don’t know, everyone loves crispy, flavourful bacon, so go with streaky.
Eureka we’ve found a cure!
When selecting your bacon you will often see on the packet labeling ‘Cured’ or ‘Dry Cure’ there are a few differences between the two you should know before purchasing. Dry cure bacon is made the traditional way, a mixture of salt and sometimes other seasonings that’s rubbed into a belly of pork. After a few weeks moisture is drawn out as the salt penetrates deep within the belly giving it the texture and flavor we all have come to love.
When it merely says ‘Cured’ it may aswell say ‘added water’. When they cure it with a more modern method they actually inject a salt water solution into the meat. This does speed up the process, turning a few weeks work into a few days, but the added water is a problem. Not only are you paying more for your bacon as a small percentage of the weight is just water it will affect the cooking.
Ever notice when you fry bacon that sometimes it shrivels up? Or perhaps spits a hell of a lot of fat all over your stove top? This is the added water fighting its way out of your bacon just to dance in the pan in a violent splatter and end up on your forearms, ouch. You end up with an unappetizing curly piece of bacon that will not be cooked evenly as it coils up, and is not in full contact with the pan. Not to mention your blistered forearms and messy work top.
Use dry cure and you will see a massive difference, it is a touch more expensive but you get what you pay for and that is a superior product. Try it, fry a piece of supermarket bacon next to a dry cured slice and you will see the difference before your very eyes. If this is too much of an effort then trust me, buy cured.
Lesson over let’s get to the fun part, even as I write this I am literally salivating over the pictures and memories of this bacon. Memories, as what I intended as a snack for a couple of days barely lasted a couple of hours.
- 1 tbsp-Brown, soft dark sugar
- 1 tbsp-Maple syrup
- ½ tsp- Vinegar
- 1 tbsp-Sriracha
- As much bacon as you like
- 1 Pastry brush
- 1 Baking tray with wire rack
Preheat your oven to 425°f (218°c-220°c, lay your bacon on a wire rack over a baking tray that is lined with kitchen foil. The foil will catch the fat and prevent your oven from smoking too much as the fat won’t make direct contact with the pan and burn, in addition to making clean up a lot easier.
While the oven is preheating start your Sriracha mix, simply mix all the ingredients together with a fork and you are done.
Cook the bacon in the middle of the oven for about 16 minutes turning the bacon over half way through. As the bacon starts to crisp up brush each strip of bacon with the prepared mixture and pop back in the oven for about 2 minutes. Take the bacon out and flip it over and paint away. Repeat this process 3-4 times and when happy with the amount,or when you run out of mixture, take the tray out of the oven and let it cool for a short while.
After a few minutes of cooling turn the bacon over so it doesn’t stick to the rack. When cooled store in a ziplock in the fridge or eat straight away, this will be sticky, chewy, spicy, sweet and crunchy.