an ode to bacon – the secret hangover cure

It’s been quite a while since I fessed up to having a hangover in these pages. I wish that this was because I had been suitably abstemious of late, it’s more that well, I guess I hadn’t felt the need to share. But a few weeks ago I woke up on a Saturday morning with head thumping and mouth like a desert. This was bad enough until I remembered that my car was in Bondi and that I was going to have to get up and run and get it to avoid a parking fine. Far from an ideal situation.

As I lay in bed, trying to talk myself into getting up, thoughts of food passed through my head. I had planned to make some pork and fennel soup to have for lunch that day but it just felt way to healthy. Even though it did contain a pork product – one of the corner stones of any good hangover cure – I needed something else. And then it flashed into my mind. Bacon. Sweeeet bacon. Bacon would surely make me feel more human. Hang on. Even better – bacon and mayo together in a soft pannini. At last – a good reason to brave the world outside of bed.

It worked like a charm, and I knew I had to share the recipe for this magical hangover cure with you.

The secret to a killer bacon sarnie is of course, top quality bacon. If you’re lucky enough to find a butcher who slices their bacon to order like the good old boys at Hudson’s Meats, I highly recommend going for 4mm (1/8in) thick slices. They will seem like huge door steps compared to normal bacon but trust me, they’re worth it. If you have to go with presliced, just choose the best quality bacon you can find. Although to be honest, I’m sure even average bacon can still make the world a little more bearable if you are feeling the effects of the morning after the night before.

In our house, I leave the bacon cooking up to GB – my favourite Irishman. After months of experimenting he has concluded that the optimum method is to go for a low heat. This results the fat being nicely rendered and buttery and avoids it curling up and cooking unevenly. He also takes the time to grill the eye separately from the rest of the rasher so it remains lovely and flavoursome and the fatty bits can get nice and crispy.

The only thing we disagree on is the rind. GB likes his bacon without but for me it’s the best bit – especially when it goes all crispy and crackly. I love the textural contast between it and the soft bread and creamy mayo. Fortunately my bacon chef is accomodating of special requests and while he takes the time to trim his rashers, my rind is left firmly in place.

We’ve had a bit of debate about avocado. If you’re a fan it does make a lovely substitute for the butter. But it all comes down to personal taste. As does the use of rocket. For me a touch of greenery makes this saturated fat fest feel a little more permissable but I know that some will find it ruins the decadence. I’d love to hear what you guys think?

bacon sarnies

serves 2
4-6 rashers bacon approx 4mm (1/8in) thick
salted butter
whole egg mayonnaise
handful wild rocket (arugla), optional
2 soft pannini or 4 thick slices white bread

Preheat your grill or broiler on low and line with foil. Remove the eye of the bacon and start cooking the rest of the rasher, turning now and then. Add the eyes and cook until just starting to brown. Drain on paper towel and keep warm. Cook the tails until they are nice and crispy and add to the paper towel.

Halve and butter your pannini or bread and spread one side generously with mayo. Top with bacon and rocket, if using. Season generously with black pepper and then form your sandwich.

Lovely with a serious cup of milky (IBT) Irish Breakfast Tea or if things are really dire – a Bloody Mary

ps. Don’t you just love the cute little tongs in this picture. GB got them especially for turning bacon as he cooks. You’ve gotta love a man who appreciates his kitchen untensils.
To pick up you very own copy of my new cookbook ‘and the love is free’ click HERE.

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  • brilliant! i’m a recent bacon convert and am a huge fan of thick, top-quality bacon sandwiches, especially with avocado. might i also recommend a sandwich with butter, bacon and cooked asparagus? and if you’re feeling even more decadent, a poached or sunny-side up egg on top of all that! [nevermind that i’m a dietitian; there’s no denying the greatness of bacon!]



  • LURRRRRVE a GOOD bacon sarnie but NO rocket, nup, uh uhh, no way, nix nada. Don’t get me wrong, I like rocket I just love my bacon more and it is so lovely with good, home made mayo on pannini…..mmmmmm. I don’t even like white bread but it’s a must for this. Yummo. I want it NOW. Too bad I have lemon garlic chicken for dinner. Oh , the sacrifice. Thanks for a yummy blog.

  • forget the rocket – far too fibrous to accompany bacon. I’d prefer a nice dollop of BBQ sauce rather than the mayo, but seriously Clance, if you want to come across this way and rustle up a few, I’d have ’em any way they come!

  • heather
    glad to hear you’ve ‘converted’ to bacon… that sounds so cute.. I’ve never been one for egg & bacon rolls but maybe if it was really runny and lovely it would work

    I’m hearing you anita

    I understand about the rocket… lemon garlic chicken sounds pretty good itself.. enjoy

    hey em
    BBQ sauce – a bit controversial… how do you think it would taste if we did both?

  • This should be elevated immediately to National Treasure status Jules! We have a butcher up here in the Adelaide Hills at Kanmantoo. He makes the bestest smoked bacon in the whole world – people drive for miles to get their fix! Can I swap the rocket for soft butter lettuce leaves?
    Millie ^_^

  • Some days only a good bacon (and egg) roll will do it for me too! I must admit though that I am a fan of thinly sliced and crispy bacon. Schultz’s bacon from Adelaide (available in Harris Farm Markets) is probably the yummiest bacon for me. Still nowhere as good as the fantastic bacon we had in the UK last year. Why don’t we get proper bacon here in Australia…just that overly pink cooked stuff?!!

  • my hubby seduced me with breaky the morning after of fresh turkish, bacon at the perfect point of cooked but crunchy and pan fried tomatoes, drizzled with sweet chili sauce.

    aint love of pork grand…

  • millie
    I have fond memories of adelaide hills bacon from my days living in adelaide…..loving the idea of soft butter lettuce…actually I told GB about your comment and he was very excited – apparently butter lettuce is much more braces friendly than rocket.

    spice & more
    I’m a big fan of schultz’s bacon – one of the lesser known delicious exports from the barossa… thanks for the tip that they are selling through harris farm… if you’re looking for good UK style bacon and are ever in sydney I really recommend hudson’s meats

    sounds like you are a very lucky lady – love sure is grand with or without pork

  • There is nothing better than a good, hearty meal to cure hangover. Bacon is a main cast of characters (alongside some eggs, slice of good crusty bread, and caffeine!).

  • Jul,
    I am not a bacon fan but your description and pics do make me want to give bacon another go…… I’m sure doggy would luv a taste of one of your bacon sarnies ;)
    I’m very intrigued about the special bacon turning tongs!! That is hilarious!! A boy with party shoes and bacon turning tongs- I’m impressed GB!!
    Luv nao xoxo

  • This sounds absolutely amazing. I always do like a bit of tomato with my bacon sandwich, but the avocado sounds like a great twist. I hope you don’t mind if I share this recipe with our blog readers at Also thanks for the tip of the butcher! I think I might have to make a trip down to Sydney to check them out.

  • hey trisha
    you’re so right about a hearty meal for a serious hangover cure…

    glad to see I might be able to convert you to bacon ;) will have to keep trying…
    I know – party shoes AND bacon turning tongs…I am a lucky gal

    I know the whole tomato BLT thing is a good thing… but I struggle to find good tomatoes at this time of year so decided to just keep it simple…
    very excited to discover international bacon day – please do share with your readers AND I highly recommend a trip to Sydney to visit the boys at Hudsons.

  • So excited to hear that there will be another bacon day party in AU. If you don’t mind sharing photos, we’d love to put them up on the site afterwords. We’ll make sure to link to this page on our blog in the coming days.

  • hi spice and more
    happy to recommend hudsons. my boss who is a vegetarian has been experimenting with eating a little meat – hudsons is now her favourite shop!

    sounds good alexa

  • That’s easy for you to say!We’d intended to visit Caernarvon Castle on the way home on Sunday, but got side-tracked by custom made earplugs. If you want to play it safe, stick with white cotton. Jackets that do not include belt loops cannot hook onto your jeans.

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