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#1 Sat 29 Jun 13 4:09pm

CanadianBacon

Member
From Ontario, Canada
Member since Fri 17 Dec 10

Wiltshire Cured Bacon: Recipes???

Hey Everyone,

I'll cut right to the chase, I don't know why, but I've got a big thing for 'heritage' foods at the moment and one of things I would most love to do would be to cure/brine/pickle (which ever word best describes what I am doing) my own, authentic, Wiltshire Cured Bacon.

Here's my dilemma:

First, I've never done this before (and so need to absorb as much information and advice that anyone is willing to pass on) --- Please pass on as much as you can smile

Secondly/Lastly and Most Importantly --- I'm looking for either "THE" or, at least, "A" recipe for Wiltshire Cured Bacon (if such a recipe indeed exists).

Plenty of sites will either explain what they do and/or what the general process is (examples as at the bottom of my post) but I cannot find anything which really get's to the 'meat and potatoes' of what, where, how much, long long, etc, etc on HOW to make it...

The very best of my efforts to search came up with an article on which allegedly is an authentic Wiltshire Cure recipe contained in a book  named "Mrs Beeton's Book of Household Management" - though I am hesitant to believe this, as reading it's contents mention nothing about a brine or wet-cure of any sort...

So, anyways, there's my story in a nutshell. I'm looking for any and all information ANYONE can provide on this subject. Has anyone got any authentic recipes referencing Wiltshire Cured Bacon that has any/all of the qualities of the four examples at the bottom?

Oh, and one last question: Just what IS "useful salt tolerant bacteria"/"a special live brine"??? I'm assuming this should be an important step in an authentic recipe but Who, What, Why, When and Where?

Sincerely, thank you to everyone in advance for your help! Again - any replies are appreciated - even it is to empathise that I'm not the only one searching...


D

Examples:

(1) "Sides of pork are immersed in Brine (a salt and saltpetre solution containing useful salt tolerant bacteria) for 3 to 4 days, then stacked in a cool cellar for two weeks to mature. Following the Traditional Wiltshire method, we do not add any water to the bacon."

(2) "In the 21st century the process still involves the side of pork with its bone in and rind on being
immersed into a special recipe brine for up to two days. But now the cold storage is rather more high
tech! In accordance with the traditional Wiltshire method the bacon is given a fortnight to mature, and
time – after salt – is the most important ingredient."

(3) "Our traditional Wiltshire Cure recipe dates back to the 1840s and is a "wet-cure" which means that the bacon is immersed in a liquid brine (a salt and saltpetre solution containing useful salt tolerant bacteria) for 3 to 4 days."

(4) "Traditional Wiltshire Cure bacon, dates back to the 1840s. The pork loins are immersed in a special live brine or ‘pickle’ which contains curing salts, and salt loving bacteria, for up to two days. The unique flavour developed depends upon the action of these bacteria.

The bacon is then given a fortnight to mature as next to salt, time is one of the most important ingredients."

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#2 Sat 29 Jun 13 10:24pm

Ashen

Forum champ
Occupation Why is the Rum always gone???!
From out to lunch
Member since Sat 07 Jan 06

Re: Wiltshire Cured Bacon: Recipes???

I am not sure , but I am interested enough that I will try and find some information for both of us.  I have made Peameal bacon before so the brine process is not new to me . The live bacteria element is something new to me in bacon process but I have seen it mentioned in other  processed meat applications.  I think the idea is that the benificial bacteria thrive and will fight off / kill any bad bacteria that trys to set up shop during the aging process after the brine.  As to a source for the benificial bacteria  I don't know yet but will look around for it.  I am  also in Ontario so I will see what I can source locally .


Edit with what I have found so far.

an old online book about heritage pork topics.   I wouldn't recommend using all the info in it  , as new techniques have been developed since that make things safer.  The barrel smokehouse design is pretty cool though.

youtube video about the only place still making the traditional wiltshire bacon.. unfortunately it has confirmed that the real way to do it is to have some of the living brine  to start with.


http://youtu.be/XF1WCUvnoDg

the very bottom of this webpage explains the wiltshire cure process and explains how and  why the living brine  works.   http://www.meatsandsausages.com/sausage … ng/methods

I did find reference to a wiltshire style cure on a uk sausage making supply website but nothing so far for Canada.  Wiltshire style I believe means it has the typical spicing .



All that being said , making your own brine and using good pork to start with to make your own back or side bacon will give you something way better than anything you can buy.  It is also extremely easy once you have run through it a few times.  I can make 4 or 5 lbs of peameal bacon with about 30 mins total active  time over 7 days including cleanup time. .    first day takes most time. about 15 mins..   making brine and injecting the piece of loin, about 5 mins on the third day, turning in the soak brine and reinjecting ,  10 mins on the 5thday, rinsing, put into a  fresh water soak for about 4 hrs , then drain and dry , back into fridge overnight,   10 mins on the 6th day to roll in the cornmeal or peameal and back in fridge to set up .

Last edited by Ashen (Sat 29 Jun 13 11:15pm)


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#3 Sun 30 Jun 13 6:51pm

CanadianBacon

Member
From Ontario, Canada
Member since Fri 17 Dec 10

Re: Wiltshire Cured Bacon: Recipes???

Hey Ashen,

Thanks for your reply and investigations... Yea, I was totally perplexed... I was almost expecting to see a dozen or so variant recipes - but to find none seems a little bit odd in itself.

I'm gonna keep on trucking, because there just has to be some information out on the vastness of the internet... The tricky part is where, LOL!

Thanks again for your input and please continue to keep looking -- the answer has to be out there, somewhere... :P

Best of Luck



D

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#4 Mon 01 Jul 13 3:24am

Ashen

Forum champ
Occupation Why is the Rum always gone???!
From out to lunch
Member since Sat 07 Jan 06

Re: Wiltshire Cured Bacon: Recipes???

bactoferm CS-300 sounds like a promising starter culture for making a living brine to do a wiltshire style bacon . The problem I have run into is that although it seems to be approved by Canada customs for importation , I can't find anyone who is selling it.     I am still looking though.


CanadaCompound dot com   seems to have starter cultures as well but I can't find info on one that would be suitable for a wet brine for bacon.. They do have an inquiry field on their site if you wish to follow up that lead.

Last edited by Ashen (Mon 01 Jul 13 3:34am)


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#5 Mon 01 Jul 13 1:42pm

CanadianBacon

Member
From Ontario, Canada
Member since Fri 17 Dec 10

Re: Wiltshire Cured Bacon: Recipes???

Brilliant Ashen!

e-mail sent to inquire about this product and/or their advice and guidance on anything else they may suggest in the same context.

Happy Canada Day fella. Hope you're enjoying the holiday!


D

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#6 Mon 01 Jul 13 1:50pm

karenlesley

Member
Occupation Retired
From Blandford Forum, Dorset
Member since Sun 26 Sep 10

Re: Wiltshire Cured Bacon: Recipes???

Ashen,question
what exactly is 'Pea Meal' bacon? I've seen it mentioned in several recipes but - going by the pictures - it doesn't look much different to other bacon.
Karen

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#7 Tue 02 Jul 13 1:57pm

CanadianBacon

Member
From Ontario, Canada
Member since Fri 17 Dec 10

Re: Wiltshire Cured Bacon: Recipes???

A small find there Ashen ---- not sure if this is useful or not - but I found this on my searching --- its from a site called onlinelibrary(.)wiley(.)com...

BACTERIAL MULTIPLICATION IN PACKED WILTSHIRE BACON

"SUMMARY
Matured Wiltshire bacon normally carries 10(5)–10(6) viable bacteria/g when sliced, predominantly salt tolerant micrococci and lactobacilli."

No idea what this means in real terms, but I do wonder if these are the cultures... Quite literally, food for thought... smile

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#8 Wed 03 Jul 13 9:43am

Ashen

Forum champ
Occupation Why is the Rum always gone???!
From out to lunch
Member since Sat 07 Jan 06

Re: Wiltshire Cured Bacon: Recipes???

Karenlesley..    Peameal Bacon seems to be a Canadian-centric form of bacon.. It is wet brine cured pork loin.   Once it has been cured it is rolled in CornMeal..
The history of why this is done is interesing.  Before refrigeration  it was  a way to preserve the pork .  The pork was cured but not smoked,  and then packed in casks or barrels with yellow pea meal(ground up yellow peas)  as a drying agent. Less moisture , less spoilage.   Cornmeal took over for peameal a very long time ago. . My mother who is mid 70's has only ever seen cornmeal used.


CanadianBacon... That is funny, I had actually wondered if it was possible to culture the appropriate bacteria from a piece of real wiltshire bacon.. I wonder if anybody in the UK would like to try?


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#9 Wed 03 Jul 13 8:57pm

wine~o

Forum champ
Occupation Handyman
From Dorset u.k
Member since Tue 21 Oct 08

Re: Wiltshire Cured Bacon: Recipes???

Ashen wrote:

I wonder if anybody in the UK would like to try?

Wiltshire (The county) isn't that far from me...

so if some-one can find a supplier of this mystical ingredient, I would be happy to ship it to Canada....

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#10 Sat 03 Aug 13 9:48am

nealeholl

Member
Member since Mon 09 Mar 09

Re: Wiltshire Cured Bacon: Recipes???

Traditionally, a Wiltshire brine for bacon is a live brine. What this means is that having made the brine, it can then be kept for years with a healthy population of bacteria. Each time it is used, it has to be adjusted so the levels of salt and Nitrates / Nitrites are replenished to replace those taken up by the bacon. By doing this a natural flora of bacteria develops over time. The exact range of bacteria can vary - curers have jealously guarded their brines, which are as unique as sourdough cultures, brewing yeasts etc. The bacteria bring about many benefits, including a distinctive mature flavour to the meat. However they also serve a vital role in promoting the conversion of Nitrate (traditionally added as saltpetre) into Nitrite. Think of Nitrite as the principal fast-acting curing agent that gives the meat its distinctive pink cured colour and the preservative qualities, and think of the Nitrate principally as a reservoir of slowing acting preservative that can be broken down into Nitrite. Nowadays this bacterial breakdown isn't so vital, as modern curing salts include plenty of Nitrite anyway. However, that doesn't overcome the flavour benefits of having a natural flora of bacteria. There are some commercially available cultures for replicating this - I know that in the UK Fibrisol market a product called "Biobac" (not sure of the spelling, sorry!). Alternatively, you could just start a brine with no culture, chuck in some meat, and use it a few times. A natural flora WILL develop. The danger here is that in the absence of a lab and full titration testing kit you will also lose control of the levels of curing salts. However you could then use some of this culture as a method of "seeding" future fresh brines with some friendly bugs. Bear in mind, that live brines don't work well at really low temperatures - about 6-7°c is where you need to be.

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