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Having some great success with curing my own bacon recently. My last attempt was a purchase of a nice slab of belly pork from The Real Meat butchers on Banner Cross and they gave me a curing rub. I applied as directed and hung in a ventilated dry place for a week to find a sorry mouldy specimen that had to be thrown.

 

I threw out all scientific rationale this time and simply purchased belly pork, took off the hard skin (this was then deep fried and made into a crackling treat) covered both sides with a generous but not overly so covering of salt, brown sugar and some crunched up dry bay leaves. Every day I'd pour out the liquid, dry and repeat. Sometimes I'd also add a feint covering of maple syrup. After 8 days you have streaky bacon.

 

It's near impossible to get the bacon thin enough without the correct tools so I'd slice some cuts off the pork and then cover with foil/ cling film and roll them out with a rolling pin. The result is you get a fantastic tasting bacon which, due to the sugars, also caramelises in the pan. All I need to do now is work out how to make my own eggs and each Saturday will gorge on true home made bacon and eggs to start the day.

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I've made my own bacon using a recipe by Tim Hayward on the BBC Food website. It's dead easy - you just need a ziplock polythene bag big enough to fit your piece of belly pork and appropriate quantities of salt and sugar. I've tried adding a few spices with pleasant results too.

 

The resulting meat tastes more obviously porky than shop-bought bacon.

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Has any one got a recipe for sweet and sour sauce. Tried one that I googled, not bad but still room for improvement. I do buy it in a jar but just thought I would experiment making my own.

Edited by hauxwell

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I too use jars of sweet and sour sauce Hauxwell. They're good enough when in a bit of a rush, although I do admit that I always enhance the jarred stuff a bit, by adding a few extra veg, extra seasoning etc.

 

I much prefer my own home made s&s sauce though ....if I've got the time to faff about!

 

To make my base sauce (enough for about two servings) I use a couple of tablespoons each of seedless raspberry jam, sherry vinegar, a small squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a squeeze of clear, runny honey and the juice only from drained tin of pineapple chunks. I then heat it and simmer it gently until it reaches the required flavour and consistency - if it's too sweet, add more vinegar/lemon juice, if it's too sour, add more jam/honey. If it's too thin, simmer a bit longer to reduce down - or if too thick, add a splash of water and stir in.

 

Once the base sauce is ready, I stir in the pineapple chunks from the tin I drained earlier, some spring onions, de-seeded cucumber, red pepper and carrot - all peeled and cut into "matchstick" strips, a clove of minced garlic, a thumbnail sized piece of minced fresh ginger and a small pinch of Chinese 5-spice seasoning. Warm it through gently, until the vegetables and pineapple chunks are warm - but still quite crunchy in texture.

 

After I've got my basic sauce right, I'll add pretty much what I feel like and what I've got left in the fridge or freezer. Water chestnuts work well, as does sweetcorn, bamboo shoots, bamboo sprouts, thinly sliced mushrooms, chopped bok-choi or Chinese leaves, sugar- snap peas............. a splash of soy sauce or oyster sauce.....a grind 0f Sichuan pepper....a drizzle of sesame oil over the top of it......the possibilities are endless!

:)

Edited by FIRETHORN1

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I too use jars of sweet and sour sauce Hauxwell. They're good enough when in a bit of a rush, although I do admit that I always enhance the jarred stuff a bit, by adding a few extra veg, extra seasoning etc.

 

I much prefer my own home made s&s sauce though ....if I've got the time to faff about!

 

To make my base sauce (enough for about two servings) I use a couple of tablespoons each of seedless raspberry jam, sherry vinegar, a small squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a squeeze of clear, runny honey and the juice only from drained tin of pineapple chunks. I then heat it and simmer it gently until it reaches the required flavour and consistency - if it's too sweet, add more vinegar/lemon juice, if it's too sour, add more jam/honey. If it's too thin, simmer a bit longer to reduce down - or if too thick, add a splash of water and stir in.

 

Once the base sauce is ready, I stir in the pineapple chunks from the tin I drained earlier, some spring onions, de-seeded cucumber, red pepper and carrot - all peeled and cut into "matchstick" strips, a clove of minced garlic, a thumbnail sized piece of minced fresh ginger and a small pinch of Chinese 5-spice seasoning. Warm it through gently, until the vegetables and pineapple chunks are warm - but still quite crunchy in texture.

 

After I've got my basic sauce right, I'll add pretty much what I feel like and what I've got left in the fridge or freezer. Water chestnuts work well, as does sweetcorn, bamboo shoots, bamboo sprouts, thinly sliced mushrooms, chopped bok-choi or Chinese leaves, sugar- snap peas............. a splash of soy sauce or oyster sauce.....a grind 0f Sichuan pepper....a drizzle of sesame oil over the top of it......the possibilities are endless!

:)

 

I'm not a huge fan of sweet and sour dishes but that sounds amazing! I'm going to try it soon. :)

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I too use jars of sweet and sour sauce Hauxwell. They're good enough when in a bit of a rush, although I do admit that I always enhance the jarred stuff a bit, by adding a few extra veg, extra seasoning etc.

 

I much prefer my own home made s&s sauce though ....if I've got the time to faff about!

 

To make my base sauce (enough for about two servings) I use a couple of tablespoons each of seedless raspberry jam, sherry vinegar, a small squeeze of fresh lemon juice, a squeeze of clear, runny honey and the juice only from drained tin of pineapple chunks. I then heat it and simmer it gently until it reaches the required flavour and consistency - if it's too sweet, add more vinegar/lemon juice, if it's too sour, add more jam/honey. If it's too thin, simmer a bit longer to reduce down - or if too thick, add a splash of water and stir in.

 

Once the base sauce is ready, I stir in the pineapple chunks from the tin I drained earlier, some spring onions, de-seeded cucumber, red pepper and carrot - all peeled and cut into "matchstick" strips, a clove of minced garlic, a thumbnail sized piece of minced fresh ginger and a small pinch of Chinese 5-spice seasoning. Warm it through gently, until the vegetables and pineapple chunks are warm - but still quite crunchy in texture.

 

After I've got my basic sauce right, I'll add pretty much what I feel like and what I've got left in the fridge or freezer. Water chestnuts work well, as does sweetcorn, bamboo shoots, bamboo sprouts, thinly sliced mushrooms, chopped bok-choi or Chinese leaves, sugar- snap peas............. a splash of soy sauce or oyster sauce.....a grind 0f Sichuan pepper....a drizzle of sesame oil over the top of it......the possibilities are endless!

:)

 

 

Thank you for the recipe, it looks a bit posher than the one I tried, but it sounds lovely. I would never have thought about adding raspberry jam.

I also add pineapple and sometimes fresh chillies to the jars to try and spice it up a bit. The jars are okay but I just feel there is something missing in them.

I am going to make a copy of your recipe, will definitely give it a try.

Thanks.

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For the first time in ages I'm adding to this post. I'm cooking Roe Deer tonight.

 

I've had venison before, but can't recall ever cooking it, and I wasn't sure what sort of deer it was. This was clearly marked Roe Deer though, from Chris Beeches. Slow cooked with veg, red wine and mushrooms.

 

---------- Post added 01-04-2018 at 20:48 ----------

 

Hmmmm, that was gorgeous

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For the first time in ages I'm adding to this post. I'm cooking Roe Deer tonight.

 

I've had venison before, but can't recall ever cooking it, and I wasn't sure what sort of deer it was. This was clearly marked Roe Deer though, from Chris Beeches. Slow cooked with veg, red wine and mushrooms.

 

---------- Post added 01-04-2018 at 20:48 ----------

 

Hmmmm, that was gorgeous

 

I've never had venison let alone Roe deer and living locally I must use Beeches more often, a few of my neighbors keep singing his praises. I'll give venison a try at the weekend.

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I've got some wild boar steaks from Beeches for this Friday's feast. I've had slow cooked boar at Vito's lots of times but never cooked it myself and never had steaks.

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Finally got hold of some fresh black truffle from the Farmers Market at Bakewell. I've recently had some amazing cheese with black truffle from the Porter Brook Deli that had a wonderful taste and aroma so I was holding out big hopes for the real thing.

 

The next morning I made soft scrambled eggs and grated a generous portion of truffle over. It tasted of very little so eventually the whole truffle was grated onto the eggs. A huge disappointment! It tasted of nothing and had clearly been out of the ground far too long. I should have bought some ceps instead.

 

On a side note I'd highly recommend the indoor market at Bakewell. I've become a bit jaded with the usual suspects of buffalo burgers and chutney stalls, but this had many new producers I've never come across and the chicken liver pate stall in Hall 2 was selling by far and away the best pate I've ever tasted.

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I made my own rhubarb and ginger last week. Most of the recipes I've seen recommend waiting for about 4 weeks before drinking but I couldn't resist cracking it open over the weekend and it was gorgeous. I also spot some new rhubarb coming through in my garden ready for the next batch.

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I've recently tried my hand at cooking Maryland crab-cakes, based on recipes I've found on t'internet, with a few of my own "twists & tweaks" thrown in for good measure! My attempts have mostly turned out very well - if I do say so myself -but most of the recipes I've found - which are mostly American (unsurprisingly) - include an ingredient called "Old Bay Seasoning".

 

This is something I'd never heard of - and I've never seen on sale, even in the many, many ethnic shops I regularly visit. It's easy enough to buy Old Bay Seasoning online - and there are plenty of recipes for making your own spice mix (which is what I did in the end).

 

"Old Bay Seasoning" is apparently a kitchen staple - and a store-cupboard essential - across huge swathes of America, so I'm just wondering if any of you fellow foodies have ever used it.....or even heard of it?

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