Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Bacon Butty

(Thanks to Saveur and author Tim Hayward for this info!)

Though the Brits claim roast beef andYorkshire pudding or fish and chips as their national dish, neither has an ancient provenance. The family pig, on the other hand, preserved in the salt that surrounds their island, slapped between two slices of bread, and dubbed a butty, a piece, a wedge, a doorstep, a sanger, or a sarnie, depending on your region of origin, is older than our monarchy, and probably more important to them.

The bacon sandwich is one of the few truly egalitarian foods, served in the most unhygienic of greasy spoon cafés and greedily unwrapped from fine linen on freezing grouse moors, from the northernmost reaches of Scotland to England's Cornish peninsula. It is the corrupting nemesis of vegetarians and a sovereign hangover cure. There are opinions aplenty on the type of bread to be used, ketchup or brown sauce, smoked or unsmoked bacon, the possible addition of an egg, and a million other variations. To have a favorite version is one of the Englishman's most dearly held liberties, yet the bacon sandwich in any form unifies the nation.

"Chef Fergus Henderson has long championed such simple British food. At St. John Bar and Restaurant in London, he serves what I regard as the ur-bacon sandwich: smoked back bacon from Gloucestershire Old Spots pigs on thick slices of grilled white bread. Of course, Henderson has a theory about its appeal: "We all react the same way to the smell of frying bacon. Rather like chocolate produces the same endorphins as falling in love does, bacon speaks to us all. Once slipped between white, crusty bread and smeared with brown sauce… now we're talking!" —Tim Hayward, editor of Fire & Knives "

This beloved British sandwich uses a meaty cut of pork from the loin of the pig, commonly referred to in North America as back bacon. Tangy HP Sauce makes a mouthwatering counterpoint to the salty meat


3 tbsp. unsalted butter, softened
6 slices back bacon
1 crusty round roll, halved and lightly toasted
2 tbsp. HP Sauce

Heat 1 tbsp. butter in a 10" skillet over medium heat. Add bacon and cook, turning once, until browned and crispy, about 3 minutes. Meanwhile, spread remaining butter on top and bottom of roll. Place bacon on bottom half and top with HP Sauce. Cover with roll top.

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All the recipes here have either been sent to me, adapted by me or found on the web. If I know the source I always give credit to the author/website. If you know of a source I may have missed please let me know.