If you are a follower of the Great Taste awards Hannan Meats is a name you may know. Recent winners of the Supreme Champion (for their 4 rib roast) for a record second time and famed for supplying the best of the best with their Salt Chambered delights. Not a company to rest on their laurels, however, they are continually looking for ways to improve their produce and experiment in finding the new 'salt chamber'. This continual emphasis on improvement has led them to a unique way of curing meat which involves a sugar pit. I think the the theory of the sugar pit goes something like this: The meat is cured in the traditional way using salt which causes it to dehydrate. After curing for 10 days it is then placed in a brown sugar pit to which it reabsorbs moisture from the sugar. A simple yet highly effective method and the only time in my life osmosis has been of any interest. It is this balance of saltiness from the traditional curing process along with the caramel like sweetness that makes sugar pit pig a delight. As testament to the process their sugar pit ribs have also been voted one of the top 50 foods at this year's Great taste awards.
for the bacon rack
- 1 Rack of sugar pit bacon
- English Mustard 2 Tablespoons
- Honey 1 Table Spoon
- Garlic potato wedges
This is probably up there with one of the simplest of meals I have cooked. Great ingredients don't need much work to make them shine.
Start by preheating an oven to 140ºc and when it has come up to temp place the bacon rack on the top shelf and cook for 1hr 40 minutes. I went with my traditional Christmas Ham glaze of English Mustard and Honey but with more emphasis on the mustard. Since the bacon has been cured in sugar it isn't exactly crying out for more sweetness so the honey was used more as a carrier for the mustard and used sparingly. However it wasn't too sweet as the bacon rack was fairly thick and the excess glaze was well appreciated by the middle slices.
After 1hr 40 minutes remove the bacon from the oven and glaze. Put back into the oven for 10 minutes at the same temperature.
For the Garlic Potato wedges, simply chop a bag of new potatoes into quarters and add a splash of olive oil along with three whole garlic cloves. Cook for 1 hour at 140ºc and when the bacon is resting crank the heat up to 220ºc and roast for a further 15 mins until golden.
Slice the bacon to desired thickness and serve with some fresh asparagus.