In light of the news that processed meat is definitely carcinogenic, it probably seems a bit odd for me to be sharing a recipe for traditional faggots wrapped in bacon. However, most of us will still carry on eating meat, and my feeling is that great bacon, like full fat cheesecake or good wine, can still be enjoyed as a treat (key word, there), especially if you fork out to get the lovely, locally produced, high-welfare stuff.
On the press trip, I was lucky enough to get hands-on making a fabulous faggot recipe (thanks Native Breeds) with lots of foraged herbs and botanicals (thanks Forage Fine Foods). For those who prefer to use standard store cupboard ingredients, here’s an adaptation of the recipe that works just as well.
- 1.5kg minced, free range pork belly (or half leg / half belly mixture)
- 0.5kg fresh, organic chopped pork liver (the liver cleans the toxins from the body, so organic is really important for this)
- 12 rashers of free range bacon for wrapping (I like the stuff from Charcutier Ltd)
- 24g sea salt
- 20g honey
- 15g fresh chopped rosemary
- 10g ground white pepper
- 8g roasted ground coriander
- 4g ground cloves
- With your hands, mix the minced pork with the chopped liver in a bowl with the salt, herbs, pepper and honey and combine.
- The idea is to ‘work’ the meat in order to activate the myosin within it – this is what will make the pork sticky and remove the need for a binding agent (like egg or breadcrumbs).
- Separate the mixture into six, fist-sized balls (this is a hearty portion) and wrap each ball in one or two slices of good quality smoked bacon.
- Pop on a baking tray and cook for approximately 25 – 35 minutes at 200 degrees celsius, until the meat is cooked through – but not dry.
- Serve with mash and green vegetables. You can also use the cooking juices mixed with a dash of cider and some single cream to make a quick sauce.
For more easy recipes using pork from Wales, and to find your local producer, see porc.wales.