Thursday, 21 March 2013

Celebrating the Bacon Connoisseurs Week

I often wonder just who decides that a certain week or a day of the year is, let's say, a Chocolate week or a National Bug-Busting day (I kid you not). Did you know, for example, that from 18-24 March 2013 we are celebrating a Bacon Connoisseurs Week.

Bacon Connoisseurs Week is set to revolutionise the nation’s love affair with bacon. 

This special week celebrates all the fabulous cuts and cures of bacon and is a firm favourite in the foodie calendar.

Think you know your bacon? Think again! With literally hundreds of different cures in Britain, it is safe to say not all bacon is the same - with smoked, unsmoked, Maple cured, Wiltshire cured, hocks, steaks, joints and rashers to explore – the list is endless! Of course it’s not just for breakfast either – enticing recipes for snacks, lunches and dinner prove that bacon can be enjoyed at anytime throughout the day.

To mark the occasion I cooked a roast chicken for dinner, stuffed with the sausagemeat and wrapped with the rashers of bacon for the extra flavour. All the juices were added to the gravy. The bacon kept the chicken moist and juicy.

TV favourite and cookbook author Fay Ripley, will be leading the Great Bacon Revolution in 2013. As ambassador for the campaign Fay will be showcasing her own classic Great Bacon recipes - with a revolutionary twist.

Running from 18 – 24 March 2013, Bacon Connoisseurs Week aims to revolutionise old attitudes, thoughts and usage of bacon.

The week will be brought to life with new recipes, trade secrets from a ‘baconologist’, fun bacon facts & figures, and a taste of the wilder side of bacon too.

If the quality of your Bacon is important to you, then why not join the Great Bacon Revolution and look for the Red Tractor logo on pack when choosing your bacon. The Red Tractor logo indicates the quality and country of origin of the bacon and that it is traceable back to Red Tractor farms. With pig farmers facing serious challenges owing to spiralling global feed costs, there has never been a better time to support Red Tractor farmers.

Serves: 4
Cooking time: About 40 minutes
Oven temperature: Gas Mark 7, 200˚C, 400˚F

2 dry-cured smoked bacon or gammon steaks (about 200g each in weight), cut into cubes
15ml (1 tbsp) oil
2 leeks, washed, halved and sliced
200g low fat/light cream cheese
325g can of sweetcorn, drained (alternatively use 260g of frozen sweetcorn)
500g packet of pre-made puff pastry
Milk and egg, whisked, for glaze
Black pepper – to taste

Preheat the oven to Gas Mark 7, 200˚C, 400˚F.

Heat the oil in a large pan. Add the bacon and leeks and cook until the bacon has changed colour and the leeks are beginning to soften.

Add the cream cheese and combine together well. Heat through and allow to thicken slightly for about 2-3 minutes. Add the black pepper and sweetcorn then place in a large 1 litre/2 pint pie dish.

Roll out the pastry to a size that will roughly cover the dish – decorate the edge with a pattern (a good effect is to use the edge of a small round glass) and if you wish cut out shapes to decorate the top of the pie. Brush pastry with the milk and egg glaze.

Place in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes until the pastry is golden brown and well risen.

Serve with a selection of seasonal green vegetables.


Serves: 3-4
Cooking time: approximately 35 minutes

240g dry cured oak smoked bacon rashers
15mlsp (1tbsp) olive oil
2 large mushrooms, sliced
1 clove of garlic, crushed
400g (approx) can chopped tomatoes
15mlsp (1tbsp) tomato ketchup
15mlsp (1tbsp) fresh flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped   
8 fresh lasagne sheets, cut in half–or if dried lightly soaked in boiling water
Grated parmesan cheese
Fresh Basil leaves
Black pepper to season

In a large non-stick saucepan heat the oil and fry the bacon, mushrooms and garlic for about 4 minutes. Add the chopped tomatoes and tomato ketchup / sauce and simmer for about 15 minutes. 
Plunge lasagne sheets into boiling water for about 2-3 minutes (Follow pack instructions). Remove from water, rinse well and allow to drain.
Assemble & Serve:
Cut each lasagne sheet in half. Onto each plate start with a square of lasagne, top with a spoonful of sauce and repeat making up to 3-4 layers of lasagne.
Finish with the top being with a piece of lasagne, sprinkle generously with grated parmesan and scatter with fresh basil leaves.
Serve with mixed leaf salad.

Disclosure: this is not a sponsored post. No payment in money or in kind was received.


  1. I know what you mean, who decides it's going to be a food week and when! I like the look of that pie.

  2. The bacon lasagne looks delicious!