This is the oldest method of curing.
Traditionally farmhouses would adopt their own, distinct recipe, apply the ingredients to the pork and hang it in the inglenook above the fireplace.
Today, dry-curing is still a time-consuming process that requires each cut of pork to be hand-rubbed with a sea salt-based mix, every day for at least five days.
After 5 days it's washed in cold water, cleaned with vinegar and and air-dried for a further 5 days.
It's then smoked over wood chippings to give it even more flavour.
Because there's is no added water – as there is with wet cured bacon - dry cured rashers won’t shrink in the pan. It also means you get 20% to 30% more meat per Kg compared to the same weight of wet cured bacon.
Delivered vacuum packed.
Portion this out and freeze it.
It's best to separate every 4-6 slices with plastic or freezer paper.
Take care not to puncture the vacuum pack. Store it below 4°C and never let it get above 7°C. Be gentle with it, if you bang it or drop it the meat will lose some of it's moisture. Don't stack heavy things on top of it either.
With fridge set at 1-4 °C
Unopened vacuum pack 2 weeks
Or see use-by date on pack Keep the air away from bacon you put in the fridge.
Once the pack is opened store in an airtight bag or wrap it tightly with foil.
Best way to extend the life of bacon is to cook it and freeze it. Cooked bacon lasts longer in the freezer than raw bacon does. And it'll save you time if you freeze it cooked.
5 Weeks uncooked
8 Weeks cooked
You can extend the freezer life of bacon if you cook it before you freeze it. Cook the bacon to one level below the way you like it done, drain off the fat and let it cool. Freeze in airtight bags.
If you plan to freeze it your bacon uncooked separate it into portions first. Cut up a freezer bag and use that to divide the portions. Otherwise it'll freeze as one block. Freeze meat as quickly as possible. The most damage to your meat is done when it's around the 0°C mark, because that's when the ice crystals are at their largest.
Once frozen your biggest problem is air.
Any frozen food in contact with the air will dry out and get freezer burn.
So make sure anything you freeze is 100% airtight.
The slower you thaw your meat the less juice is lost. Defrost it in the fridge.