In his book Real Flavours, Glynn Christian says: ‘If you are just starting a journey of discovering better foods, there is no better place to start than with a green, dry-cured bacon.’ And this, as well as the best ingredients you can find, is the basis of a perfect fry-up. The bacon I really like is from Denhay, dry-cured streaky (at Waitrose).
Dry-cure is cured by having salt rubbed into the pork, which, says Mr Christian, makes it tender, sweeter and tastier. It takes longer to cure, but has no nasty white deposit. You should keep the dripping, if not for fried bread, for frying eggs, potatoes or anything improved by a bacony flavour. For the fry-up, you need 4-5 rashers of bacon per person. Streaky crisps up better than back and is cheaper it’s always my choice. Then one or two eggs per person the best you can find, preferably from a farmer’s market or your own hens. I have my own marans, so it’s easy for me. Failing either of these, Burford Browns from Clarence Court (Waitrose again) are delicious and have deep-yellow yolks. I don’t like tomatoes with eggs, so have either one or the other.
I like my tomatoes to be small cherry or small plum cooked in the oven with bacon fat or peanut oil for at least half an hour. It intensifies the flavour. Add to these the best pork sausages you can find. Those from Musks of Newmarket are good, but so are any with more than 60% meat content. And either fried breadsliced white is quite acceptable, as is a chunky brown or sauté potatoes, cooked whole and then fried in the oven until brown. If you’re still hungry, add large, dark mushrooms, fried in bacon fat, and slices of black pudding. And that’s it. Excellent for lunch will last all day if you have it for breakfast.