Bacon Butty

7/22/2008 12:39:00 AM

Two weeks ago, I was inexplicably hit by an intense craving for a bacon sandwich. (General bacon cravings being a rather normal occurrence, I'm afraid). It started when I had a BLT at work on my break. I carefully removed the bacon from the sandwich, and grilled them separately, thus maximising the bacon crunch factor when both sandwich and bacon were, joyfully, reunited. There was lettuce, there was melted cheese, there was tomato, there was toasty bread, there was mayo and there was crunchy bacon. Good lord, it was good. But after that, I couldn't get the idea of a pure bacon sandwich out of my head. The type I read about in Nigel Slater books, the type that 'ard bastards eat in English cop shows - soft white bread, butter, bacon fat, crispy streaky bacon.

I went so far as to do some internet research on the topic. It seems that there are people out there who are absolutely passionate about bacon butties. (Butty is a Northern English word for sandwich. You could also say "sarnie", but I am a big fan of alliteration). According to a scientific study (no joke), an integral part of a successful bacon butty is the aural factor - i.e. how loud the crunch is when you bite into it.

So, a couple of days later, I decided to have this treat for breakfast. I bought myself the whitest-of-white breads: a white bap from Baker's Delight. I looked for streaky bacon, but couldn't find any at my local butcher or supermarket. I think that health consciousness is really on the up-and-up. I ended up "settling" for some lovely free range, non-hormoned lean bacon from a fabulous local butcher. I wouldn't get too precious about it either way though; I hardly think that the original versions of these sandwiches, served in greasy spoons all over the UK, include such distinguished bacon. But I digress. I fried said bacon in my black steel pan, spread some butter on the inside of the bap, and (oh dear) used the bread to mop up the pan juices once the bacon was cooked. I wasn't even hungover. What can I say? It was a strong craving.

As you can imagine, it tasted great, but even halfway through I'd developed a slightly sick feeling in my stomach. This was the least healthy breakfast I could have had, and I don't recommend that it be eaten on a regular basis by anyone who values the use of their arteries. As a once off, however, it seemed ok. And it totally killed my bacon butty craving. The next day, I was back on my usual porridge breakfast with great enthusiasm. What is it they say about needing to hit rock bottom before turning your life around?

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  1. i understand cravings that make no sense. and that bacon buttie looks pretty good. i sadly, would have added some tomato sauce too. mmmm

    my craving of choice is that for twisties. once every six months i gorge on twisties and then cannot even look at them again for another 6 months. weird huh?

  2. Chopper would love that. We are total bacon lovers. I have a weird craving with Twisties to, but mine are made into a buttered sandwich which is quite strange....a Twistie sandwich. LOL

  3. Growing up with northerner (uk)parents I grew up with bacon butties as a regular sunday breakfast - yum! Ours was a slightly unhealthier version, however. :D

    Get two pieces (or more for more butties) of regular white sandwich bread, fry the streaky/fatty half of bacon strips in some oil (you'll need the extra hot oil in a min) and then once cooked and crispy take it out and you can then fry the bread in the fat until brown & crispy as well. Only do one side of each slice or it can be too much... if it's not already.


    If you ever want any more authentic stodgy northern food recipes like Calli (which I've been craving through my entire pregnancy so far) do let me know. Always happy to spread the love... and the fat. ;)

  4. oooh great stuff Sarah! bacon butties rule! and i am glad you buttered the roll too, for that grease on grease action :) over here in Scotland it's the opposite, hard to find a roll that isn't white and floury :)

    (if you want to get really hardcore you could try a chip butty! :)

  5. The sandwich looks amazing :):) But what is it with twisties? I have the occasional yearning for them too. Ate nearly a whole pack the other day, felt like I had e-numbers coming out my ears. Yay for porridge lol, such a calming way to start the day :)

  6. OMG, the chip butty. I am a long-time addict of chips, but the chip butty I recently ate in Scotland almost cured me of my fried-potato habit. Blegh.

  7. Being British I just love a good bacon sandwich and you do it so well! A little English mustard on mine Please!! Love your blog and your How to Eat project!

  8. Anonymous9:11 AM

    I am back in the UK from the USA. I am having two bacon butties every day for breakfast. Four slices of smoked back bacon on whole wheat bread rolls. They would be even better if I could bother to add a runny fried egg to each one.

  9. Leslie5:52 AM

    Not fair. I'm reading Stuart MacBride's books and dying to try a real bacon buttie but have the misfortune of living in the Yukon. :-(



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