Rain and wind all across Honshu today means no fishing this weekend – I was due to go octopus fishing today. The barometer reads 994mb and is still falling; it has been falling since last night, but I am hoping at least this week the sailor’s maxim long forecast, long last does not hold entirely true since my annual whiting charter is booked for next Sunday. Anyway, with a lie-in instead of a 5am wake-up today I made a start on my latest batch of homemade bacon. This is unsmoked, maple syrup-cured bacon made according to the recipe in Ruhlman & Polcyn’s Charcuterie book. I tend to be a more intuitive rather than scientific cook, but their exact and methodical approach clearly pays dividends when working with meat. Buttered eggs on the side completed my breakfast.
This turned out to be probably the best bacon I have made so far and will be the recipe I will stick to for all my future bacon cures. It does require Canadian maple syrup, which is an expensive luxury here in Japan, but I tried substituting Japanese honey last time and the result was not so good. The original Ruhlman & Polcyn recipe calls for hot-smoking the bacon after it is cured, but I prefer unsmoked bacon and the taste and texture is good enough without smoking. I have yet to make a recipe from the Charcuterie book that I didn’t like, and at the risk of sounding enthusiastic, I cannot recommend the book enough.