“What is bacon?” a friend of mine’s little boy asked me. “Well,” I said, “it is a meat product prepared from the meat of a pig.” “Well,” his answer came back, “I like it!” Simple, yet profound. Out of the mouths of babes…but also very much indicative of how the majority of meat eaters feel. Most people I know “like it”.
There are various cuts of bacon: the belly, which gives one streaky bacon – I think that is one of the most popular cuts, because it cooks up nice and crisp; then there is back bacon, which is cured pork loin – not so fatty and meatier; and shoulder bacon.
These are the most common cuts to be found in the supermarket.
Besides being a favourite on the breakfast table, it is used in so many ways: to wrap food; great on a pizza; snipped into pasta sauces. You can buy thick slices of bacon from good delicatessens and cut it into cubes. These are known as lardons.
Now, lardons are wonderful when slow cooked with chick peas and beans. It’s also great in pea soups.
There is nothing like a delicious BLT – bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich; or a cheese and bacon burger. What about Mac and Cheese topped with cheese, onion and crispy bacon?
Then there’s scallops wrapped in bacon… grilled asparagus wrapped in bacon and topped with trembling soft poached eggs… green beans wrapped in bacon… bacon jam… bacon marmalade… meatloaf wrapped in bacon…now you have me going.
If bacon made from pork is not for you, then try Turkey bacon, which is smokey and cured, very low in fat and healthy; or Macon, which is cured mutton; and believe it or not, vegetarian bacon, or Fakon, which is low in fat and has no cholesterol. It is usually made from strips of Tofu or tempeh.
Candied bacon is something that makes for a yummy snack. Why don’t you give this recipe a try? Be warned, though – it’s rather addictive.
Stout Candied Bacon
J’Something, this recipe of yours rocks!
Difficulty: Very easy
Serve: as a snack
Hands-on Time: 20 min
Total time: 40 min
500g smoked streaky bacon
½ cup sugar
¼ cup Castle Milk Stout
2 tbsp. Peri-Peri sauce
Pre-heat oven to 220°C.
Combine sugar, Castle Milk Stout and peri-peri sauce in a bowl and mix to combine.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper and lay the bacon on top; it can overlap slightly, as it will shrink.
Grill bacon in a pre-heated oven for 10 minutes, then remove and brush both sides with stout peri-peri syrup and return to oven.
Repeat this process until the bacon is crispy & golden, not burnt or hard.
Remove from the oven once done and cool on a wire rack for 10-20 minutes until set.