Hungarian-style bacon: the locals’ absolute favorite
Photo: Facebook / Balatincz családi gazdaság
Bacon is a quintessential ingredient in Hungarian cuisine. In the old times, a meal could not have existed without bacon, but many times bacon alone was the main dish. Smoked bacon with bread and red onion made the perfect pairing. There are plenty of different types of bacon. Transylvanian, Kolozsvári, smoked, salty, Császár, tea bacon, bread bacon, and the list goes on. Now, let’s take a closer look at how this bacon is prepared. Magyarországom.hu made a comprehensive collection to present the Hungarian-style bacon.
The preparation consists of different processes, which are usually more complex than just smoking or cooking the meat. When it comes to bacon, there are cooked and smoked versions, but there are also fried ones. The cooked bacon is what is mostly eaten with fresh bread and onions in Hungary.
There is also salted bacon that also contains a layer of meat and is made by using dry salt. Furthermore, there are smoked, smoked-cooked bacon, pickled and fried bacon, the latter is fried in its fat or hot air, but thousands of other variations exist as well. In addition, bacon can be made from jowl, back or side, but there is also the so-called belly bacon. Let’s look at the bacon varieties in detail!
Many people love Szekler bacon, which is smoked and made out of the bottom of the pork belly (underline). It is seasoned with salt and garlic. The exact procedure looks like this: the abdominal meat is rubbed with salt, then after 5-6 days it is placed in a garlic-flavoured brine and matured for 8-10 days.
Then the meat is broiled in salted water for 21 hours. When we are done with all this, we dry it using twine and we smoke it until it turns light brown to brown. Now, there is nothing more left than slicing it up, frying it until red and then it is ready to be devoured with soft bread and red onions! Of course, anyone who does not want to bake it can skip this step!
Photo: Facebook / Húsdiszkont
Kolozsvári bacon – a culinary treasure
Did you know that the Kolozsvári bacon is only sliced thin without its skin? This delicacy is again made by smoking the meat after salting and pickling it, however, the recipe strictly calls for pork rib. The best part is that, if stored well, the bacon stays fresh for a very long time.
Kolozsvári bacon can be used in a variety of dishes such as bean soup or stuffed cabbage, of course with freshly baked bread and horseradish on the side. The name Kolozsvári refers to the original Hungarian name of the Transylvanian city Cluj-Napoca.
The Császárszalonna (Emperor’s bacon) – an all-time favourite
Just like the Kolozsvári bacon, the Császárszalonna is also made out of pork rib and must be cooked in salted water. If you want it to last long, you have to smoke it using special methods otherwise it will go off quickly.
Photo: Facebook / PAJTI GRILL BÜFÉ
You should not miss the fat bacon
A must-have for campfires! It can be stored for almost an infinite period, as it does not crumble when prepared well. This is one of its biggest pluses. Besides, it makes juicy, tasty dishes that can be prepared in a variety of ways. The preparation of the fat bacon is very simple, it only consists of 3 steps: salting, pickling and smoking.
In short, a heart attack on a plate. Better still, the smoked ones are carcinogenic. These types of bacon are definitely ones to miss if one is even remotely health conscious. Personally, I don’t even think that they taste that good either and that gammon is a much better choice, although it is neigh on impossible to find a gammon joint in Hungarian supermarkets that has been prepared – deboned and rolled tied into a joint.