Wednesday 20 March 2013

Fay Ripley recipes for Bacon Connoisseur Week

This week - 18th-24th March - is apparently Bacon Connoisseur Week - no, I didn't know that either! It aims to encourage people to purchase good quality bacon, such as Red Tractor, where the quality of meat and the welfare of the pig is assured, as well as understand just how many different cuts, cures and types of bacon there are in the UK. Ambassador Fay Ripley has come up with some lovely recipes that have had me salivating so I thought I'd share them with you ! 



Serves: Makes 2 open sandwiches
Cooking time: About 10 minutes


4 smoked maple cured back bacon rashers
4 slices thickly cut crusty white bread
5mlsp (1tsp) olive oil
1 large mushroom, thickly sliced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
100g (4oz) Gruyere or Emmental cheese, grated
Knob of butter


Preheat the grill.

Place the rashers under the grill and cook for 3-4 minutes until lightly cooked.

Heat oil and butter in a small pan. Add the mushroom slices and garlic and cook lightly for 2-3 minutes, set to one side.

Toast the bread slices on one side.

To construct the sandwich: Top the non-toasted side of bread firstly with mushrooms, then a bacon rasher and scatter with cheese. For the lid of the sandwich scatter the non-toasted side with cheese. Repeat for the second sandwich.

Place all 4 slices under hot grill and cook until the cheese is melted and golden. Serve the ‘loaded’ slices topped with the cheesy lids.

Serve with a heap of mixed green salad leaves.



Serves: 4
Cooking time: About 40 minutes
Oven temperature: Gas Mark 7, 200˚C, 400˚F


2 dry cured smoked bacon or gammon steaks (about 200g each in weight), cut into cubes
15ml (1tbsp) Oil
2 leeks, washed, halved and sliced
200g low fat/light cream cheese
325g can of sweetcorn, drained (alternatively use 260g of frozen sweetcorn)
500g packet of pre-made puff pastry
Milk and egg, whisked, for glaze
Black pepper – to taste


Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 7, 200˚C, 400˚F.

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the bacon and leeks and cook until the bacon has changed colour and the leeks are beginning to soften.

Add the cream cheese and combine together well. Heat through and allow to thicken slightly for about 2-3 minutes. Add the black pepper and sweetcorn then place in a large 1 litre/2 pint pie dish.

Roll out the pastry to a size that will roughly cover the dish – decorate the edge with a pattern (a good effect is to use the edge of a small round glass) and if you wish cut out shapes to decorate the top of the pie. Brush pastry with the milk and egg glaze.

Place in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and well risen.

Serve with a selection of seasonal green vegetables.



Serves: 4
Cooking time: About 30 minutes


200g (7oz) sweet cured unsmoked back bacon rashers
15ml (1tbsp) oil
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, crushed
30ml (2tbsp) medium curry powder
30ml (2tbsp) ground cumin
1 courgette, thickly sliced
¼ (about 200g) cauliflower, cut into small florets
2 potatoes, skin on and cut into small cubes
100ml water
2 x (approx) 400g can chopped tomatoes
30ml (2tbsp) fresh coriander, roughly chopped
2 large handfuls baby spinach


Place oil in large saucepan and heat, add the bacon, onion and garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes. Add the curry powder and cumin, combine well together. Then add the courgette, cauliflower, potatoes and water. Stir well.

Next add the tomatoes and bring to the boil, cover with lid and simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the potatoes are soft.

Just before serving stir through the coriander and spinach and serve with warmed chapattis and a side order of chopped fresh tomato, red onion and coriander mixed together drizzled with a little flavoured oil.



Serves: 3-4
Cooking time: approximately 35 minutes


240g dry cured oak smoked bacon rashers
15mlsp (1tbsp) olive oil
2 large mushrooms, sliced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
400g (approx) can chopped tomatoes
15mlsp (1tbsp) tomato ketchup
15mlsp (1tbsp) fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped
8 fresh lasagne sheets, cut in half–or if dried lightly soaked in boiling water
Grated parmesan cheese
Fresh Basil leaves
Black pepper to season


In a large non-stick saucepan heat the oil and fry the bacon, mushrooms and garlic for about 4 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato ketchup / sauce and simmer for about 15 minutes.

Plunge lasagne sheets into boiling water for about 2-3 minutes (Follow pack instructions). Remove from water, rinse well and allow to drain.

Assemble & Serve:
Cut each lasagne sheet in half. Onto each plate start with a square of lasagne, top with a spoonful of sauce and repeat making up to 3-4 layers of lasagne.

Finish with the top being with a piece of lasagne, sprinkle generously with grated parmesan and scatter with fresh basil leaves.

Serve with mixed leaf salad



Makes about 12-14 loaves
Cooking time: 20-25 minutes
Oven temperature: Gas Mark 4, 180˚C, 350˚F


240g premium wiltshire cure unsmoked back bacon rashers, trimmed and cut into large pieces
450g (1lb) plain flour
30ml (2tbsp) baking powder
4 medium eggs
450ml (¾pt) semi skimmed milk
25g (1oz) butter
5-6 pickled onions, sliced
50g (2oz) cheddar cheese, cut into small cubes
1 tomato, roughly chopped
Pinch salt


Preheat oven to Gas Mark 4, 180˚C, 350˚F.

Into a large bowl place flour, baking powder and salt.

Break eggs into a jug and lightly mix with a fork. Add the milk and mix together.

Place the butter into a hot frying pan and add the bacon, cook for 2-3 minutes until the bacon is cooked through. Allow to cool slightly.

Add the cooked bacon to the flour and mix, and then add the onions, cheese and tomato.

Fold together the bacon and flour mixture with the egg and milk mix, using a large spoon until all ingredients are thoroughly combined – be careful not to over mix

Fill each lined mini loaf tin or large muffin case almost to the top with about 3 large spoonfuls of the mixture.

Cook in a preheated oven for about 20-25 minutes until well risen and golden.

Serve hot or cold, sliced with or without butter, extra pickled onions and cheese



Serves: 4
Cooking time: About 20-25 minutes
Oven temperature: Gas mark 7, 200˚C, 400˚F


200g (7oz) dry cured oak smoked thick cut back bacon rashers – about 6 rashers
5ml (1tsp) olive oil
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
15-30ml (1-2tbsp) smoked paprika
400g (approx) can chopped tomatoes
30ml (2tbsp) tomato ketchup
1 red pepper, deseeded and cut into small pieces
4 eggs


Preheat oven to Gas Mark 7, 200˚C, 400˚F.

Leave 4 rashers of bacon whole and chop the remaining 2 into large pieces.

In a large pan heat the oil and add the chopped bacon, onion and garlic. Cook for 2-3 minutes until the onion begins to soften. Add the remaining ingredients and bring to the boil and simmer for 5-10 minutes.

Pour the mixture into four individual shallow gratin dishes or one large dish. Take the whole rashers of bacon and curl into a rough circle and place on top of the mixture. Make a slight indent in the mixture, crack eggs and place in the centre of each individual dish or evenly on the top of one large dish. Place in oven and bake for about 20 minutes until the eggs have set.

Serve with chunks of crusty bread for dipping.

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  1. Oi, reminds me I said I'd do this post as well. I am sooo not thinking straight. I love the sound of that puff pie.

  2. I consider myself a bit of a bacon connoisseur and I do think a good quality rasher can't be beat. I'm liking the sound of bacon curry.


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