A simple pork-free substitute for regular bacon, lower fat also so suitable for those watching their calorie intake.
This requires a breast of veal, ask your butcher as it is not something normally on sale, mine came bone in and required boning before curing.
Once boned, the meat is trimmed into two slabs, and the sides tidied up. I size mine to fit a couple of plastic boxes which contain racks to hold the meat out of the resulting liquid produced during the curing process. The meat is rubbed all over with a weighed quantity of premixed cure which gives the correct ratio’s of cure, salt, flavourings etc. this is available from many sausage supply companies, I use Franco’s in the UK.
Weigh the meat and then weigh out the correct weight of cure, 40g per kilo of meat. Rub the meat all over with the cure, and either place the meat into a ziplok bag or place on a rack in a plastic food container.
The meat then needs to sit in the fridge to cure, this takes about 2 days per 2.5 cm of thickness, plus 2 days. It will do no harm if the meat is left longer, as the meat is already protected by the cure and the salt.
I left these pieces for about 8 days before taking them out of the fridge, they then need to sit uncovered in the fridge until they form a pellicle, which is a dry skin on the outside. Some people wash the excess salt and cure off the outside of the meat before drying, I have never found this necessary
After a couple of days, you should be able to slice the meat and bag for storage, the following pictures show the thinner piece of meat, sliced by hand. If you have a small domestic meat slicer and wish to use that for slicing, it may be necessary to partially freeze the meat before slicing.
As usual I had to try some of the finished product, it was breakfast time after all!