‘Ome Cured Bacon

Who doesn’t like bacon? I’ve even heard of vegetarians succumb to the smell of bacon frying on a Saturday morning from the local greasy spoon.

ome cured bacon blog

One day I was thinking ‘well how hard can it be to make my own bacon’. So I got a piece of belly pork from the butchers, took the bones out and fat off then rubbed it with liberal amounts of salt and other seasonings, put it in a plastic container in the fridge and left it there for a week, pouring off the moisture and rubbing a little more salt into the meat every other day or so.

After a week I rinsed the piece of meat thoroughly under cold water, patted it dry and then sliced it as thinly as possible. The meat certainly had the texture of bacon. The colour though was slightly off putting and even after it was cooked it was a slightly pinkish-grey colour. However it tasted fantastic!

Of course in commercial curing they use a curing salt which contains, amongst other things, saltpeter or potassium nitrate although this compound has more recently been replaced with sodium nitrate (E252) and it’s this that gives the bacon the characteristic pink colour.

You can get curing salt quite easily, it’s available on line. I however thought ‘I’ll ask my butcher for some’. Sure enough, as I was buying a big hunk of belly pork from him, he was happy to oblige. I think any decent butcher would do the same, they may charge you for it but it would be better than buying a big batch and they will even tell you how much to use for the piece of meat you’re curing.

And that’s all you need, a piece of meat to cure and some curing salt.

I tend to use belly pork for my own bacon. Simply because it’s reasonably cheap and it’s great when used in cooking sauces such as Bolognaise (Pancetta is made using the same cut of pork)

I take the bones out of the piece of meat (these go in the freezer until we have enough for some nice sticky ribs), and then I rub my curing mixture into the meat. I stick a freezer bag over my hand. You really don’t want curing salt on your hands!

 'Ome cured bacon meal blog

I enhance my curing mixture with some spices and sugar. I’ll use some muscavado sugar for sweetness, a little allspice, a tiny pinch of chili powder and a little smoked paprika. You can use whatever you fancy though or just leave it plain.

And that’s it. Place in a non metallic container, cover and stick in the fridge. It should be ready after a couple days but I’ve left it up to a week before. It’s best to drain the excess water that comes out of the meat, however sometimes I’ve forgotten and it’s still turned out fine.

Once your meat is ready you need to rinse it and then dry it. I take the rind off the meat and roast it in one piece for the ultimate crackling! The Kids go mad for it! The meat can then be sliced, diced or left in big pieces to roast (if your doing this leave the rind on). We normally slice some and dice some and freeze it in small batches.

Believe me, your own home-cured bacon will taste amazing and will be a fraction of the cost of shop bought.

Of course the best way to enjoy it is to have a couple slices of cooked, crispy homemade bacon and a squirt of tomato ketchup sandwiched between two slices of home made bread and a nice cup of tea… Perfect!

bacon and egg sandwich blog

Sweet Potato & Red Chili Soup


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Soup… We absolutely love it in our house. Not the tinned variety of course. It has to be ‘Ome-made! And it’s so easy to make. You take your favourite ingredients sweat them off in some butter add some stock, cook for a bit and then blitz. Not leek and potato soup though, that can’t be blitzed. That’s completely breaking the rules, that has to be… ‘lumpy’.


If you make your own stock it’s even better. Even if it’s chucking the bones from the leftover roast chicken in a pot and boiling for an hour, you will be left with a nicechicken stock blog base for a soup. Of course if your one of those non-meat eating types you can make a stock from those manky left over carrots at the back of the fridge any veg trimmings and some onion. If you roast the veg for 20 minutes or so you’ll get more flavour and a deeper colour to your stock too.


So heres a recipe for a soup I made the other day along with a recipe for some cumin, ginger and garlic croutons. If you don’t have the croutons with this soup I suggest putting the spices used to flavour them in the soup. Although this recipe has chillies and spices in it it is no way spicy. If you prefer it spicier just up the amount of red chili in the recipe.

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Sesoning Blog




Sweet Potato & Red Chili Soup




50g butter                                                       Diced Potatoes Blog

1 medium onion roughly sliced

2 cloves of garlic roughly chopped

200g (a large baker) potato cubed

700g sweet potatoes (4 small or 3 medium)cubed

1 large carrot diced

1 teaspoon ground white pepper (or extra black if you haven’t)

1 teaspoon salt

1 heaped teaspoon mild curry massala (or curry powder)Diced Carrots Blog

1 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon dried thyme

2 litre of stock

2 medium sized red chillies deseeded and finely chopped

1 tablespoon chopped coriander

Ground black pepper and salt to taste




Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed pan. Gently fry the onion and garlic for about 10 minutes.

Sweet Potato Sweating Blog

Add both types of potato and carrot to the pan along with the white pepper, salt, curry massala, allspice and thyme. Gently sweat all the veg off for a further 10 minutes stirring so the spices don’t stick and burn.

Add your stock which should just cover the vegetables. Bring to a simmer and cook for approximately forty minutes or until all the veg is cooked through and soft. Take off the heat and carefully blitz with a hand blender, blender or food processor.

Put back on the heat and add the remaining ingredients. The soup will be ready after 20 minutes.

 Sweet Potato Soup Blog


Cumin Ginger & Garlic Croutons


8 slices white bread

Olive oil

2 teaspoon crushed garlic

2 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon ground ginger

Salt and black pepper




Cut the bread into cubes and put in a shallow roasting/baking tin.

Drizzle with oil and sprinkle with the garlic, cumin and ginger. Give the croutons a good toss and then sprinkle a little more olive oil on them and toss them again.

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Put in an oven preheated to 165°C on fan setting (185°C for conventional)the croutons will take 30 – 40 minutes but you need to regularly check on them and give them a shake or turn every 10 minutes or so.

Once the croutons are cooked they can be used straight away. Once the croutons are completely cool they can be put in a sealed container where they should be good for up to five days.

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Happy soup making!