Cooking Tips


 

What to give the person who has everything?
What do you give your Dad on Father’s Day?
Do men even appreciate flowers?

The answer to some of these questions at least, is a Bacon Bouquet. So easy to make and really effective, not to mention funny and tasty. What else could live up to a build up like that!!!

I used 1kg Holly Rindless bacon, it needs to have a reasonable amount of fat on it and be a reasonably large slice. Straighten the slices out and cut off the ‘eye’ part of the middle to make the slices even, as shown.

Roll up each slice from the ‘eye’ end to the streaky end to form rosettes. Place these on a baking tray and bake in the oven at 180 degrees C for around 30-40 minutes depending on how crispy you like them.

I stand them up to start with, then roll them on their sides for the last 10 minutes to ensure the ‘rose’ surface is browned as well. Allow the ‘rosettes’ to cool on a cake rack then insert a bamboo kebab stick into the rosettes as a stalk, and wrap.

 


 

“I can’t seem to cook bacon anymore, it just boils in the frypan and goes soggy”.

How many times have I heard this lament. The problem is not how the bacon is being cooked, but what is in the bacon!

A modern process cures bacon in just 3-4 days, using a multi needle injector to pump in brines that contain products such as soy protein isolates, gums and other additives to hold excess water in. The smoking process also adds heat to partially cook the bacon, which also seals the water in, until, when the over pumped bacon is cooked, all the water lets go. Because this process emulsifies fat, you generally have to put oil in the frypan to stop it sticking. Water then oozes out, creating steam, the bacon sticks and stays flabby and pale.

Hang on a minute here, we are talking about bacon!! Bacon should hit a hot frypan and sizzle then go crisp and golden. Shouldn’t it?

At Holly, we hand pump only New Zealand pork with brines we make from scratch, dry stack the middles for 2-3 weeks, cold smoke using native untreated NZ timber, then air dry the bacon. This last process ensures that any moisture we have introduced in the brine, is removed in the finished product which ensures that Holly bacon will go crisp when you cook it, every time.

 


 

This arrived in my mail yesterday. So, it is not enough to over pump bacon and ham with water, companies are promoting pumping fresh meat, yes, your steak, chicken and fresh pork with water and additives! And you wonder why you can’t get your steak to sear and cook without weeping.

Let me know if you have had enough of this sort of rubbish. A ‘Happy Customer indeed!!’

 


 

So delicious and such a good reason to have friends over, all you have to do is heat and glaze the ham, Easy!!!

Get your guests to bring the rest and you are the Rock Star!
So, light the fire, set a date and get ringing your mates!!

To Glaze Holly Ham

Carefully remove the skin from your ham being careful to leave the fat on the meat.
Place the ham in an oven dish with a little water in the base. This stops juices sticking as the ham heats.

My favourite glaze, and one of the easiest is smearing the surface with equal quantities of Sweet Chilli and wholegrain mustard.

Cut diamonds into the fat around drained pineapple ring if using, set the pineapple aside to apply after the heating process, and place the dish in the oven set at 120 degrees for around an hour and a half.

This is to reheat the ham, not cook it. Higher temperatures can result in the ham drying out.

Remove the ham from the oven, put cloves in the diamond intersections, and pineapple on, if using.Carve the ham by holding the shank with your left hand (if right handed) and carving towards the shank.

Break out the Pinot and enjoy!