Trail RecipesBy Akira Suzuki
Bacon, Cabbage and Tomato Stew
4-5 ripe tomatoes (or 2 cans of boiled tomatoes)
1 large, or 2 small, onions
2-3 cloves garlic
250 grams bacon
1 tablespoon consommé
2 teaspoons black pepper
3 tablespoons olive oil
* Serves 2-3 person
Bacon is great for camping. First of all, it is smoked, so it will keep better than other raw meat. Second, it’s
been through several processes adding and removing salt, so the salty flavor is really in the meat. This natural smoked-and-salty flavor really comes out when you are cooking, so I rarely need to add any salt.
But—and sorry if I am repeating myself from past columns here—when I’m talking about bacon, I mean “real” bacon. “There is real and fake bacon?” you might ask. Yes, unfortunately, there is.
The bacon sold in packs in the supermarket does not have the meat smoked as a preservative. Instead, a tar-based liquid is used to give the meat a smoke-like flavor. This means it does not have the shelf life of real bacon.
By the way, this is exactly the same process they use for cheap smoked salmon. If you eat real bacon or real smoked salmon, you’ll be shocked by the smoked and salted favors and may say to yourself, “What have I been eating?”
Naturally, we’re using real bacon for this issue’s recipe: Bacon, Cabbage and Tomato Stew. You can enjoy this by itself, spread it on bread, or use it as a pasta sauce. If you’ve got just a bit left over, you can always add a little curry powder. Just do that and you’ve made a tomato curry you can enjoy on the second or third day. For those who like Mexican food, use chili powder instead of curry powder.
If you have a chance, be sure to visit a meat shop in Gotemba, Shizuoka, called Fuji (Tel: (0550-82-2683, closed Sundays). The bacon here is the real deal, but it’s not overpriced and, once you taste it, you will never want to put the cheap, fake stuff on your plate or in your mouth ever again.
Full disclosure: the man who was the head of Fuji, but has since died, was my master in the art of making bacon.
Slice garlic and bacon. Fry the garlic in olive oil until fragrant, then add bacon. Reduce heat, being careful not to scorch the garlic.
Cube the onion, roughly chop the cabbage, and crush the tomatoes by hand (this is a key point). Add to the garlic and bacon and simmer, add the consommé and black pepper to taste, and you’re done.