This week is ‘Bacon Connoisseurs Week’ and that means its time to celebrate a real British favourite, the bacon sandwich. And celebrate we have, not a day has passed this week that there’s not been a chef cooking bacon on TV. The Sunday Brunch programme on channel 4 had a ‘Baconologist’ to enlighten the nation on facts about one of their favourite foods. According to a UK Food Network survey, bacon takes the top spot in Britain’s top 100 foods and the bacon sandwich remains popular when we’re eating out with 324 million being sold last year.
What can be said about a bacon sandwich that you don’t already know. We all have our own favourite way of cooking bacon, and we are quite particular about how we like it served, something I’ve learned this week from numerous tweets I’ve received.
Bacon on a roll with tomato ketchup or brown sauce say some. Bread, butter and bacon……nothing else required say others. When it’s served like that there’s something else that makes it special for me, the roll must be warm. Nothing worse than lovely hot bacon in a cold roll.
Of course favourites extend to the type of bacon we have in our sandwich or roll and you only have to peruse the shelves of the supermarkets to see that the bacon industry is a huge part of the British food market. Bacon is a £1.37 billion industry with consumers purchasing 226.9k tonnes per year. That’s a lot of rashers and a lot of pigs.
Bacon has had some bad press recently with a few health warnings being attached, but given the sales figures I suspect it will remain a firm favourite with British consumers. My view…..everything in moderation and always buy the best food you can afford.
What I have learned is that not all bacon is the same and I do like nice bacon. This week I was fortunate to sample some locally produced bacon from Allan and Susan Steele of The Lochbyre Rare Breed Meat Company. They run a small holding just south of Glasgow and rear two kinds of native rare breed pigs, the Gloucester Old Spot and the British Saddleback.
At lochbyre,the pigs spend their lives outdoors, free to roam, to grow and develop naturally and as a result Allan and Susan produce great flavoursome meat which they sell at the various farmers markets they attend in the Lanarkshire and Glasgow area.
It would be wrong to have Bacon Connoisseurs week and not have a bacon sandwich. I decided to do something different with the Lochbyre bacon as after all it was called ‘connoisseurs week’ and you can have a bacon roll any day of the week. This was special bacon and deserved to be treated as such.
I made a healthy bacon sandwich, meaning that as well as some very tasty bacon you also include some other really nutritious foods, making the sandwich a reasonably balanced meal.
For 2 sandwiches you need :-
6 Rashers of Lochbyre Gloucester Old Spot dry cure bacon.
2 thick slices of sourdough bread
2 thick slices of sourdough bread
Small tub of cream cheese
Handful of spinach leaves
2 tomatoes sliced
1 avocado sliced
I use a griddle to cook bacon but cook to your own preference. I also like to cook the tomato slices for a minute, just enough to warm them through.
Either lightly toast the bread or brush with oil and place on a hot griddle toasting for a minute on each side.
Spread the bread with cream cheese, top with spinach leaves, warmed tomatoes, sliced avocado and the bacon rashers.
The Gloucester Old Spot bacon I used for this recipe was supplied by Lochbyre Rare Breed Meat Company. Full details of the meats and others products available can be found at http://www.lochbyrerarebreedmeat.co.uk.
For details of farmers markets attended by Lochbyre go to http://www.lanarkshirefarmersmarkets.co.uk
Further information and facts on British Bacon from http://www.lovepork.co.uk