I first came across Ross & Ross when I headed to the Farm Shop & Deli show back in March. I loved the idea of curing your own meat and fish, which is just part of Ross & Ross’ offering, so I made a beeline for their stand at the show to find out more.
After meeting the guys behind the brand, I was kindly sent a bacon curing kit of my very own to try out. Included in the kit is everything you need to cure three different bacon joints, with either sweet, smoky or original curing salts. I loved that the kit even came with plenty of pairs of plastic gloves so you can make sure you are being very hygienic when curing your bacon.
I was a bit apprehensive as it’s not something I’ve dabbled in before, but the instructions accompanying the kit were very clear. Firstly, I headed to my local butchers to buy the belly pork I needed, which was easy to do as the instructions let me know exactly what to ask for. I found this super helpful as I’m not particularly au fait with cuts of meat (I’m learning but I do have a habit of sticking with what I know).
The next job was to get curing! I won’t go into every stage because I don’t want this review to become a step by step guide. So instead I’ll talk about how I found the experience overall and the end result (the proof is always in the eating).
I found the kit really easy to use, like I say largely because the steps were clearly outlined in the instructions. Do make sure you read them in advance though, as you will need seven days for the whole process, so don’t get exciting thinking that if you start on a Wednesday you’ll be chomping your home-cured bacon butties by the weekend.
Also make sure you clear a space in the fridge before you move onto the stage where the bacon needs to hang in the bag. The muslin bag and hook is provided in the kit, so it’s just a case of ensuring there is room to hang it without it touching other items or the side of the fridge.
I tried out the original cure first and it did make truly delicious bacon. My husband said it was the best bacon he had ever had, which I would certainly take as a ringing endorsement for how good the end product is from this kit. I liked how natural it tasted, it didn’t taste overly salty or too processed, which many shop bought bacons can.
I also noticed that when I cooked the bacon (I grilled mine) it didn’t lose loads of water and really shrivel up. This meant I was left with really chunky pieces of bacon which for me was a nice bonus.
For me there was also a real sense of achievement that I had learnt a new skill. Yes, okay, the kit takes most of the hard work out of the task, but it still requires patience and a bit of effort, and then you get to eat the delicious fruits of your labour. What could be better?
I didn’t do a very good job of photographing the bacon curing process (my snaps look a bit gross), but just so you can see a selection of the different stages I thought I would add them to the post.
I did however get a better shot of the bacon (just ignore the slightly burnt bacon, my fault for leaving it under the grill too long) served up with homemade American pancakes and maple syrup. Heaven on a plate.
At £21 the kit isn’t something you could probably do regularly, but as a gift it would be super, or if you were having friends or family to stay and wanted to present your own-cured bacon sandwiches then it’s worth every penny. I also think curing your own bacon for occasions such as loved-ones birthdays or Boxing Day would be a really nice touch.
Ross & Ross also offer salmon curing kits and a range of other foodie delights and gifts. You can check them out at rossandrossfood.co.uk.
Do you fancy curing your own bacon?
Thank you to Ross & Ross for sending the bacon curing kit free of charge for the purpose of this review. As always the views expressed in my blog are honest and my own, and are not influenced by the provision of free products.