When you move to a different country from the one you were raised in, there are many things you must adapt to and get used to. When I first moved to the Czech Republic from the UK just over a year ago, e.g. I had to learn how to drive on the “other side” of the road

But any ex-pat will tell you that food is the thing that takes the most time to adjust to!

Food items are what you miss, certain dishes remind you of home more than others. During festive times of the year, there are specific menu items that you must just include. At Christmas, we always have a traditional Christmas Turkey. We still celebrate Boxing Day with leftovers.

From my experience, one of these items that many Brits abroad crave is British Back Bacon.

As the Czechs do have what is known as Anglická Slanina – this is a thinly sliced cured and smoked streaky bacon which is no comparison to the British Back bacon I have grown to miss.

Makin’ Bacon – my way

With the six years I spent as a butcher, I have no excuses, but to invest in a mini vacuum pack machine, a gorgeous 3.4kg loin of pork, and roll up my sleeves and get to work…

It’s a lot easier than most people think with just two ingredients (that you most likely already have in your cupboard).

Basic recipe: (per KG of pork)

  • 50g brown sugar
  • 20g Sea salt
  • Yes, that’s all!

It’s as simple as that!

Now, if I wanted to be adventourous, I could start adding, rosemary, thyme and so on — or simply go for a pre-prepared cure mix.

Once you have you mix prepared, place the meat in a vacuum bag and rub the mix on the meat getting in all the nooks and cranny’s. Why the bag and not the bowl? Simple –  I do not like washing up so why use something if I don’t need to.?

Vacuum down ensuring the seal is tight and the bag isn’t blown then place in the fridge.

Personally, I cure the pork for 14 days regardless, however, I know that you can do it based on thickness, but I only really do this when it comes to gammon.

I’m lucky enough to have a spare fridge I can cure the bacon in!

Fun fact: bacon cures better in the dark, so try not to open the fridge unnecessarily – even though it’s extremely tempting to keep checking on it 😊

After the 14 days of curing, open the bags and rinse the salt from the meat, pat dry, and then either hang or place on a raised wire rack this allows the bacon to dry – this should be done for 1-2 days.

Stay with me we are nearly there…

When the bacon has dried, place in the freezer until the bacon becomes firm but not frozen since this makes the slicing easier.

Slice, cook, eat.

Now the only thing left to discuss is – Sauce or no Sauce?