Monday, June 21, 2010


serves eight

2.25kg/4lb 15¼oz collar of bacon
1 tablespoon molasses or black treacle
salt flakes

For the Cumberland sauce
1 medium lemon
1 medium orange
4 heaped tablespoons good-quality redcurrant jelly
4 tablespoons port
1 heaped teaspoon mustard powder
1 heaped teaspoon ground ginger
braised red cabbage, to serve

Preheat the oven to 240C/460F/Gas 9.

First of all, using a very sharp pointed knife, score the skin of the bacon in a criss-cross pattern, making little 1cm/½in diamonds (insert the tip of the knife only, hold the skin taut with one hand and drag the tip of the knife down in long movements).

To cook the bacon, warm the molasses or black treacle slightly (if it's very cold) then use a pastry brush to lightly coat all the little diamonds. Next, sprinkle the skin with salt flakes, pressing them well in, then place the joint in a roasting tin skin-side up (if it won't stand straight, use a couple of wodges of foil to prop it up).

Place the roasting tin in the oven and after 25 minutes turn the heat down to 180C/350F/Gas 4, and continue to cook for a further 1¾-2 hours. It should feel tender all the way through when tested with a skewer. Leave it to rest for at least 30 minutes after coming out of the oven.

For the Cumberland sauce, first, thinly pare off the zest of both the lemon and the orange using a potato peeler, then cut into very small strips 1cm/½in long and as thin as possible. Boil them in water for 5 minutes to extract any bitterness and drain well.

Now place the redcurrant jelly in a saucepan with the port and melt, whisking them together with a mini whisk over a low heat for 5 or 10 minutes.

In a serving bowl, mix the mustard and ginger with the juice of half the lemon until smooth, then add the juice of the whole orange, the port and redcurrant mixture, and finally the zests. Whisk well and the sauce is ready to use.

Serve with braised red cabbage and Cumberland Sauce, which is always served at room temperature. (Cumberland Sauce keeps well in a screw-top jar in the fridge for up to two weeks.)

bacon recipe courtesy of: Delia Smith, Delia's Classic Christmas, BBC-Food

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