Recipes by their Ingredients

bacon

  • Making Bacon

    Makin' Bacon

    Mmmm bacon... drool-drool-drool
    There's a reason the smell of bacon can awaken a sleeping stomach from 200 yards, the cured pork sliced thin and fried or baked crisp is the Pièce de résistance of many a meal. From Breakfast, bacon and eggs, to lunch, a B.L.T. and soup, to dinner, a bacon wrapped filet mignon!

    Pork belly, being divided into thirds
    Pork belly being divided into thirds

    If you find the taste and smell of bacon intoxicating and delicious, and have the drive to git to makin bacon, then you will never buy mass-produced store bacon again! The beginners finished product is so superior to the store bacon, it's like comparing the tortoise to the hare: NO CONTEST.

    I started with 13.5 lb slab of pork belly with rib meat attached. (When I do this again, I will probably trim the rib meat) I divided it into three sections, each section weighed in at 4+ lbs.

    Honey and Molasas Bacon
    Honey and Molasas Bacon before being sealed

    After coating it in special curing salt and spices, (I made 3 different cures), see the image above where I add the marinade to the top of the meat and work it around the meat the best I can before it was packed and sealed and left in my fridge for about 9 days. I turned the packages over twice a day to ensure they cured evenly.

     

    All 3 flavors, seal-a-mealed up
    All 3 flavors, seal-a-mealed up

    I decided on a 'honey and molassas', a 'pepper and garlic' and a 'pepper, bay and thyme' trifecta! I also used seal-a-meal bags (god I love that machine!).

    Pepper and garlic slab being dusted
    Pepper and garlic slab being dusted

    After removing and rinsing the bacon of its curing salts and drying it off, I really wanted an authentic "slab-o-bacon" so I decided to rig my oven into a smoker! Granted I did not get as much smoke to penetrate the flavor of the meat, but apparently I got just enough to hint at smoke and it had a great flavor!

    Slabs about to be smoked
    Slabs about to be smoked

    Luckily my oven had a removable shelf floor between the oven and the broiler below. I removed that panel and put the canister of wood shavings on top of the broiler element, on the mid shelf I had a steel bowl of ice water to keep the bacon from reaching the max smoking temperature for as long as possible and that happened to be 3 hours. I read it should be closer to 10 hours, but hey, you make the best with what you have. On the top rack is the three slabs of bacon with my digital thermometer in one.

    The finished product! I gifted some out, and regret it! Mine mine all mine! mwa ha ha... err nevermind.

    Bacon belly, split in thirds
    Molassass bacon slab after smoking

    Bacon belly, split in thirds
    A slice of the smoked bacon

  • Smokey Black bean and Bacon Soup

    Smokey Black bean and Bacon Soup
    Smokey Black Bean and Bacon Soup
    (Serves 4)
    5 cups chicken broth (stock)
    2 cups black beans
    15 strips of bacon
    ½ tblsp bacon fat (liquid)
    ½ tsp chipotle pepper (a smoked jalapeno)
    ¼ tsp liquid hickory smoke
     
    NOTES: O.k., o.k. you do not have to add the bacon fat. (But it tastes so good in here!) You can also puree ¾ of the batch and leave some whole beans in there.

    INSTRUCTIONS

    Boil beans in the stock until tender. Add fat, chipotle and liquid smoke.
    Puree with a blender, taste!


    Adjust seasoning with a little salt if needed. Crumble the bacon into the soup and stir well. (Do not puree any further.) Bon Appetite!

     

  • Stuffed Clams

    Stuffed Clams
    Stuffed Clams
    (Serves 12)

    25 oz chopped clams (reserve the juice) or 10lbs Quohogs, scrubbed and boiled until they open
    ½ lb bacon
    ½ tblsp parsley
    ½ large yellow onion, finely chopped
    1 cup Italian breadcrumbs
    1½ tblsp oregano
    1 love garlic, minced
    5 - 8 oz mozzarella cheese, shredded
    ½ tblsp Parmesan cheese, grated
    ½ cup celery, chopped
    ½ cup white wine
    4 oz clam juice

    NOTES: I bought clam shaped baking vessels, but you can bake this spread out on a cookie sheet or in low filled muffin tins, or individual ramekins! If your mix is too dry, add some more clam juice, if it's too wet add some more breadcrumbs. This is my Mom's recipe!

    Cook the bacon and set aside, drain on paper towels. Add to the bacon grease, the onions, celery and garlic, cook until the onions become soft on low heat. Remove from pan and set aside.

    Grind the clams in a food processor. Mix them into the reserved onion mixture, mixing well.

    Add into the mix, the parsley, oregano, breadcrumbs, 2 oz of clam juice and the white wine, mix well.

    Now add in the mozzarella and Parmesan cheese, mixing well. You want the mix to be a little on the wet side rather then the dry side. Chop the bacon and mix it into the mix.

    If you are satisfied with the consistency, slightly more wet then dry, then you can start to fill up empty clam shells, or muffin tins or a sheet pan.

    Pack a palm sized amount into each shell, ramekin or muffin compartment, or spread entire mix out onto a cookie sheet, ½ - ¾ high. (No higher then 1 inch)

    Pre-heat oven for 10 minutes at 350 °F, put clams mid-oven for about 20 minutes.

    Serve while hot! Enjoy!