Bath Chaps

The ‘chaps’ are the cheeks of the pig, on which a piece of jaw bone and tongue are usually left. Bath chaps originated in the West country in the area round Bath, the local long-jawed pigs, fed on fruit, being especially suitable for curing in this way.

Ingredients

  • 2 bath chaps
  • lb. coarse salt
  • 1 lb. bay salt
  • ½ oz. saltpetre
  • 8 oz. sugar
  • 3 quarts water

Method

Rub the chaps all over with ½ lb. of the coarse salt, and leave for 2 or 3 days, rubbing with salt and turning frequently. Put the remaining coarse salt, the bay salt, saltpetre, sugar and water into a pan and heat gently to dissolve the sugar. Pour into the chosen container and leave to cool. When cold, add the chaps and leave in the pickle for 2 weeks, turning daily. Drain well and smoke for two weeks.

Salt Herrings

Herrings should be packed in wooden tubs with coarse rock salt and then left for several weeks before using. It is best to clean the herrings before salting, but it is not necessary to bone them. Put the cleaned herrings into a cask with the salt in layers, finishing with a layer of salt, until the cask is full, then firmly nail on the top and store in a cool dry place. To prepare the herrings for use, remove from the tub as many as are required, replacing the lid firmly. Wash the herrings thoroughly and bone if liked, then leave them to soak for 12 hours in cold water to remove excess salt.

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