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Ideas for slow cooking bacon joint?

Hello, from a lurker of a few weeks standing who has finally decided to "de-lurk".

I was wondering if anyone had any tips/ideas for slow cooking a bacon joint. I bought one from Asda recently and its use-by date is this Friday 2nd so I want to cook it in the next day or so. I've seen a lot of recipes for gammon joints and pork but none specifically for this. It weighs just over a kilo, it's unsmoked and is made from cuts of pork shoulder.

I have been using my slow cooker pretty successfully for a couple of years so I was thinking of just putting the joint in there with a chopped onion, carrots and leeks and a little water. I've noticed the joint has string wrapped round it and I'm not sure whether this should be removed before cooking. Also others have mentioned soaking joints to remove salt - given this is unsmoked my guess is this wouldn't be necessary?

My usual technique for slow cooking during the week is to put everything in the pot the night before, put it in the fridge then just before I leave at 6:30am, take it out and set the cooker going. By the time I come home it's had about 11 hours so I generally use low or medium heat settings. This has produced something both edible and tasty on just about every occasion.

Does anyone see anything that might go wrong with the above approach? Or some way that it could work better? I'd also be interested in any comments about how good value for money this is, given the joint was in the Smartprice category and cost £4.20. I also live on my own so any ideas on how many meals this should yield? I generally get two or three dinners out of my usual slow cooking recipes.

I hope that isn't too many questions for a first post! In case anyone is curious I shall post the results of whatever I end up doing, as I see that is something that many contributors here do.


  • edited 28 February 2012 at 9:55PM
    LondonDreamerLondonDreamer Forumite
    725 Posts
    edited 28 February 2012 at 9:55PM
    Welcome :wave:

    I would treat it the same as a gammon joint. I use carrots, celery and onions (leeks are a good choice, but rarely have them in) and a dash of diluted apple juice instead of plain water. I also add whole peppercorns and a bay leaf. I don't have a slow cooker so can't advise on timings.

    The last gammon joint I got was around the same price for 2kg but it was 75% off so sounds like a good normal price to me. I got 12 portions out of it, plus two lots of offcuts to use as pie/quiche filling.
  • curlytop12curlytop12 Forumite
    1.2K Posts
    Part of the Furniture 1,000 Posts Name Dropper Combo Breaker
    hi,i do just the above!though i use a smoked gammon joint-can't be that different!
    bung in slow cooker with water,onion,sometimes a bit of pepper NO SALT!

    after a few hours i stick the joint in oven for 30 mins or so and stick some dried soup mix (dead cheap bags of dried peas/beans/barley/lentils) and keep cooking in slow cooker for about 2-3 hours.

    usually a £4 joint from sainsburys (?WEIGHT) on does me and young son:
    2 main meals each
    2 days sandwiches each at least
    and i put some shreeded into finished soup that does days!
    good luck :)

    yes pop up a photo of your work,fab idea
  • Years ago I did a recipe using coca cola instead of water. this wasn't in a slow cooker, so not sure if it would work. It was delicious even though it sounds really weird.
    'Do not follow where the path may lead. Go instead where there is no path and leave a trail. Only those who will risk going too far can possibly find out how far one can go.' T S Eliot
  • nlj1520 wrote: »
    Years ago I did a recipe using coca cola instead of water. this wasn't in a slow cooker, so not sure if it would work. It was delicious even though it sounds really weird.

    This is one of my favourite recipes and it works perfectly in a slow cooker. Just pop the joint in, add enough full fat coke (must be full fat) to cover it and leave it to it's own devices for 6-8hrs. Result is beautifully tender, fall apart joint with a delicious taste.
  • squeakysqueaky Forumite
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    Or pease pudding...?

    Reducing the quantity of dried peas would give you pea and ham soup.

    Dirt cheap and very easy. A firm favourite way to cook bacon/ham/gammon here at squeaky towers :)

    All of the ideas in this thread can be used for bacon... Cooking A Gammon Joint in the Slow Cooker
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  • Thanks for the contributions everyone.

    Well I said I'd report back on the results so here goes. I cooked the bacon joint yesterday. Added a chopped onion and leek, and the rest of a bag of fresh sliced carrots I got discounted recently. I had to make a "hole" for the joint in the veg because the cooking pot was quite full. Because I was using fresh veg I decided not to add any water and it got 11 hours on medium. The place smelled very welcoming when I came home from work! Out of curiousity I weighed the cooked joint after I had removed the surrounding fat and it was 650g - not bad for what I paid for it. I had about 200g and some of the veg for dinner and the rest will likely do tonight's meal as well and a couple of sandwich lunches thereafter.

    I will definitely try this again but some thoughts/questions:

    -I'm going to use the low setting next time as the veg seemed a bit overcooked although still tasted OK.
    -Removing the fat and string net was a bit messy and some fat had transferred to the veg. Is there some way of avoiding this, perhaps wrapping the joint in foil before placing in the cooker?
    -A fair bit of fluid was produced (about an 3/4 inch deep in a 3 litre pot) so didn't seem to be any danger of things drying out.
    -Taste was nice and "meaty" but just a little bland so perhaps rubbing the joint in some herbs or adding them to the pot would help? Or maybe crumble in a stock cube? I've heard of using cola before which I may have a go at too given the positive results other folks here have described.

    I think this will be the first week where I've managed to prepare all my evening meals using the slow cooker - before this diced turkey thigh stew did me for three days! Truly it is the bachelor's friend as it cuts down on the washing up too.
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