Bacon Wizard's Perfik Bacon Sarnie

The perfect bacon sandwich is almost as much about texture as flavour. It should have both juiciness and crispness in layers that crack like a Vienetta, flavour exploding in your mouth as they do.

So should the flavours themselves be layered, with top-notes, mid-notes and base notes the way an expensive perfume will have.

Ingredients

For the filling, visit a farm shop or butcher where they make their own bacon. Not by chucking a commercially bought instant cure mix over any old pork, but with their traditional own mix of rich sugars and Andaman Island spices, salt and saltpetre.

We need 2 slices of smoked streaky, extra thin, and another two of a sweet cure (such as a black bacon, cured with molasses. Finally, 2 rashers of medium-thickshortback bacon that is neither sweet nor smoked. Being a Bacon Wizard, I make my own.

For the bread, a fluffy white sourdough loaf such as “Wild White” from the Hobbs House bakery.

Method

First into a hot pan go the streaky rashers and the slightest drizzle of fruity olive oil to prevent sticking. Once the bacon is opaque and the fat is running nicely I pop these under a fairly low preheated grill to begin crisping up slowly.

Meanwhile, in the now vacant pan, the thicker back bacon can go in. It should be cooked quickly so that the fat bubbles and browns but the lean eye of the rasher remains juicy and tenderonce briefly rested.

I pop the cooked back bacon into a warm place (such as an unlit side of your grill, if you have such a thing) while we finish preparing.

Next, I take the two slices of bread which I like to be half an inch thick and dip just one side in the rendered fat. If there isn’t enough for both slices, a touch more oil will help.Careful not to burn the bread, but allow it to caramelize in the pan till golden brown. If there is not enough room for both pieces, simplydip them in the pan and put them under the same grill with the moistened side upward to go shatteringly crisp on one side but remaining a soft, yielding pillow on the other.

Now to assemble your sandwich :)

If you are a BLT fan, this is where you need to add several types of fully ripetomato (such as black prince, powers heirloom, and brandy wine) sliced and seasoned with very little salt, freshly dry-fried and ground (in a pestle and mortar) black or long pepper. The ripeness will mean that after the initial crunch, they squish like nature’s own amazing sauce. If the tomatoes you have are not fully ripe, a little sprinkle of sugar is an old Italian trick which works wonders, and season them a good half-hour before use, to let them soften.

For once, chilled iceberg lettuce has a genuine place in the kitchen, but rocket orwatercress will help the flavour and texture too.

Place the salad (if you are using any) on one slice of the one-sided toast and top with the bacon in two layers, alternating the different rashers left to right and then in reverse.

Cut into half and serve immediately. Watch your guests roll their eyes heavenward and melt on the spot, exclaiming without pause in the munching.

What am I saying? Eat it yourself!

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