With a lack of refrigeration, salting would have been a preferred method of preservation and storage for the Vikings and Saxons. Though with salt being expensive, brining would have been more commonly used.
Bacon seems to have been produced in large quantities, at least by the Saxons. This recipe, while being a modern variation, makes use of ingredients that where available at the time and is based loosely on an old Yorkshire bacon cure.
For the cure;
A few bay leaves
2 teaspoons juniper berries (crushed)
2 teaspoons black pepper (freshly cracked)
For the bacon:
1kg Pork belly
1 tablespoon honey
The quantities given here are approximates, don’t worry too much about them being exact.
Mix together the cure ingredients.
Rub the pork belly with honey.
Add 1 handful of the cure to a food safe container, large enough to fit the pork belly.
Add the pork belly and rub the cure into the meat. Place in the fridge or somewhere cool for 24 hours.
Drain off any liquid that forms in the container and sprinkle another handful of cure over the pork. Repeat this process for 5 days.
After 5 days, rinse the pork with clean, cold water and pat dry. It should be feeling quite firm at this stage.
Rub the pork with a little vinegar and either hang somewhere cool or put it back in the fridge. Wait for a minimum of 5 days before eating.
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Ingredients: A knob of Butter 1 onion (roughly chopped) 600g Chicken breast (cut into chunks) 1L chicken stock 2 white or purple carrots (quartered and sliced) 2 sticks of celery (roughly chopped) A small bunch of wild garlic leaves (Finely chopped) 1 thumb sized piece of ginger (Finely chopped)
Method: Melt the butter in a large pan or cauldron. Add the onion and fry for a few minutes to soften.
Add the chicken and fry for a few minutes.
Pour over the chicken stock and add the carrots, celery, garlic and ginger. Bring to a boil and simmer for about 20 minutes.
Serve with fresh sourdough bread
Taken from my book ‘Eat like a Viking!’ Available now on Amazon