Bringing Home the Bacon

Whether you like it on white with brown sauce, or in a roll with ketchup, there are some mornings when only a bacon sarnie will do. So how do you guarantee a sizzle to stir your senses? Padstow Farm Shop’s butcher in residence Johnny tells all.

“There’s nothing quite like the scent of bacon in the morning,” admits Johnny Hawkins, of the award-winning Padstow Farm Shop, “it’s mouthwatering – so you don’t want the flavour to let you down.” Trusted by locals and visitors alike, Johnny and the Padstow Farm Shop team have had a hand in more than a few tasty Saturday mornings over years. So what does he recommend? “Dry cure smoked back bacon is by far the best option for the traditional, crisp, flavourful rasher,” he says, “that’s because back is basically like the sirloin of pork – just very thinly sliced.”

Then there’s the cooking. Perfecting the crisp-to-meaty ratio is vital – no one likes floppy bacon. Johnny has a two-pronged approach to getting his rashers just right. “First off I throw the bacon into a hot pan, without any oil or butter – giving it a short while on each side,” he continues. “Then I pop it under the grill to let the fat really curl and crisp up.”

The supporting cast

But beautiful bacon alone does not a sarnie make. The bread’s got to cut it too. Where most people plump for doughy white, Johnny’s a wholemeal man. Untoasted (controversial). But there’s one thing we certainly agree on. “Padstow’s local bakery, The Chough, bakes the best rolls for a bacon butty,” Johnny says, “hands down”. But get there early, the queues can stretch out along the harbour front come Saturday.

The final flourish

From the first squidging bite to the final mop up with your crusts, it’s not a bacon sarnie if it’s not oozing with sauce. “I’m all for a good brown sauce myself,” Johnny admits “it changes the flavour and completes the dish. But if you’d rather go for ketchup, or something more daring, take a look at the eclectic Halzephron range –they’ve got all sorts of sauces to spice things up.”
Dry cured smoked back bacon, double cooked for the perfect crisp, hugged by a freshly baked wholemeal roll and lifted by Cornish-made brown sauce? I think we’ll be going in for seconds. And you?

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