Well, it’s full of Heston’s typically marvellous recipes like pea and ham soup-in-a-sandwich and bacon and egg porridge, popcorn chicken and (r)ice cream. But in Heston’s kitchen, to cook is to embark on a journey of quantum gastronomy: exploring the palate, feeding the inner child, and plunging headfirst through the plate and into the soul.
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What do you want from a bacon sarnie?
There’s the seductive sizzle when it’s cooking. There’s that irresistible aroma that draws you in like a magnet. Then there are those delicious contrasts—smoked and unsmoked, crisp and soft, savoury and a touch of sweetness.
I’ve taken inspiration from Mrs. Beeton for an extra textural contrast. Included in her Cookery and Household Management is a recipe for Toast Sandwiches, in which a piece of toast is the filling between two slices of buttered bread.
She claims it ‘will be found very tempting to the appetite of an invalid.’ I don’t know about that but having both bread and toast adds another layer of crispness and softness that will hopefully be found tempting to everyone, invalid or not.
4 rashers unsmoked back bacon
6 rashers smoked streaky bacon
2 tbsp oil
20g salted butter
4 slices of white bread
For the sauce
2 tbsp French’s mustard
2 tbsp tomato ketchup
2 tbsp mayonnaise
Place the bacon rashers between two sheets of baking paper. Use a rolling pin to roll the bacon until very thin, then discard the paper and slice each rasher in half.
Heat the oil in a large frying pan, add all the bacon rashers and fry, turning frequently, until cooked through and crispy. Remove the back bacon rashers and set aside, allowing the remaining streaky rashers to fry a little longer until crisp and caramelized.
In the meantime, for the sauce, mix the mustard, ketchup and mayonnaise together in a small bowl.
Butter two of the slices of bread and set aside.
To assemble, toast the other two slices of bread, butter them and top with the bacon. Sandwich together with the slices of untoasted, buttered bread (so you have two sandwiches, each with one side bread and one side toast).
Serve immediately, with the sauce on the side to use as a dip between each bite.
Recipe reprinted with permission from Bloomsbury Publishing.