Bacon Fraise is a traditional dish that dates back to the 15th century – a breakfast dish that used to be eaten by the agricultural workers to keep them going throughout their day. It is vital that only dry cured bacon is used in this recipe to ensure that you do not have loads of water running into the dish ruining both the texture, and the flavour. This is a substantial dish that consists of bacon that is fried and then covered with an egg batter and cooked. The comparison would be a Toad in the Hole made with Sausages albeit the Fraise is baked in a pan. In the old days it was served at the start of the day as the fat from the dish would have helped the workers to get through their gruelling day.
Wiltshire has been synonymous with pig farming dating back as far as Saxon times and Wiltshire ham and bacon are still very popular. To allow the meat to travel to well it needed to be preserved and so Harris’ of Calne came up with the Wiltshire Cure. To this day we still use the traditional technique on our bacon. No chemicals, colouring’s or water is added to our products and the end result is quite unique.
Our recipe for Bacon Fraise dates back to 1896 and is accredited to a recipe from The Thorough Good Cook by George Augustus Sala (published 1896)
120g self-raising flour
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
½ tsp pepper
4 free range large eggs
200ml milk (full fat)
In a bowl combine the flour, nutmeg, salt and pepper.
Use a whisk to slowly beat in the eggs, then the milk until everything is well mixed and lump-free.
Allow the batter to rest in the fridge whilst you cut your bacon into narrow strips. Take a heavy, medium-size frying pan and place it over a medium heat. NB: Streaky bacon does not need fat adding to the pan. When the pan is hot, cook the bacon until it is crispy.
Once your bacon is done, slowly pour the batter into the centre of the pan until it reaches the edges and is not too thick. Stir briefly to even out the bacon, but then do not disturb until dry on top and then turn. Use a spatula to flip the fraise over and cook a little more.
When both sides are of a good colour, lay them on a dish and serve hot. One pancake per person is a filling snack; two is a substantial meal. Any topping of your choice will liven up the dish.