To be honest, I can’t see how it could possibly be otherwise – the salt draws out water from the meat, and in return the meat absorbs salt, but before starting I read multiple reports from people who have cured bacon in the same way, and not one says, “Hey, it’s salty!”.
The question is – is it too salty? On its own, for many people these days, I’d say yes. In a roll, with a splash of HP, or a fried egg, probably not. Bad news for anyone watching their salt intake though.
Personally, it takes me back to the fifties, when bacon was routinely dry-cured, and routinely salty – that was when bacon got the bad rep as a causative agent in CHD that it’s been unable to shake off.
It does, I have to confess, fry beautifully, no white gunge, no spitting, it just sits there and sizzles.
All I can think of is that others accept the saltiness as the price for not eating processed crap that fills the pan with white gunge.
OK – just done some more research, and it appears I could have soaked the bacon for several hours to get the salt out of it – the unanswered question is does the meat re-absorb water? Logic suggests it does. If salt draws out water, making the meat salty, then if water draws out salt, it will surely make the meat wet!
So back to the drawing board.
The bacon I’ve just made won’t be wasted, it’ll go into soups and sauces where the saltiness will be put to good use (reducing the seasoning), and some will also be eaten – I don’t mind salty bacon, it’s what I grew up with.
In the meantime, I’m going to buy a commercial curing salt, either this one or this one both are used in quite small amounts so shouldn’t make the bacon too salty. The second one is used at just 5% by weight, so for a 1kg piece of pork, you’d need just 50g, the first one at 7.5%. I might buy both and see which is best.**
And I’ve just been reading through a bacon-curing forum, and there is absolutely no doubt that the stuff IS normally salty, and no-one cares overmuch.
**In fact I have ordered both. And Ocado do decent quality pork belly in half-kilo portions, so I’ll get two of those, and test both salt mixes, see which suits me best.