Pork – Bacon and Gamon

Bacon and gammons are a staple in British households so it is worth taking a look at the different types of bacons available and where they all come from. Firstly though, it is an idea to take a look at some definitions.

Bacon

Cured meats from the saddle and belly of a pig.

Gammon

Cured hind quarter meat (leg) that is either left on the bone or boned and rolled.

Ham

A cooked gammon.

Green

An unsmoked bacon or gammo – not a direct reference to its physical colour.

Smoked

A cured bacon or gammon that has then been through a smoking process using wood chips.

Dry Cure

Most bacon are cured in a brine to preserve the meat that is the drained off. A dry cure is when the salts used to preserve the bacon are physically rubbed into the meat and therefore avoiding the intoduction of water.

Back Bacon

Comes from the loin (same part that we get chops from) of the pig and is the leanest of the bacons.

Streaky Bacon

Is cut from pork belly and as such is the fattiest cut of bacon. It is commonly used to top poultry roasts due to the basting effect it has as it cooks.

Middle Bacon

This cut provides you with both the back and the streaky bacon in one slice so in essence it has both the loin and the belly.

Gammon on the bone

A cured pork leg that can be smoked or left green (unsmoked). They are usually boiled or roasted into hams and are ideal for serving cold. Obviously being on the bone they are a bit harder to carve but you get the cooking benefit of extra flavour and enhanced appearance.

Gammon boned and rolled

Again the cured pork leg but with the bone removed and the joint rolled to make it easier for carving.

Gammon Joint Cooking Times

Minutes / pound
Minutes / kilo
Gas Mark
°C
°F
Oven30/lb + 30 mins
65/kg + 30 mins
Gas 4-5
180 °C
350 °F
Boiled20/lb + 30 mins
45/kg + 30 mins