Posted by johngl
Last weekend, most glorious spousal unit and I ventured out to do some exploring and came across a small Farmers’ Market not too far from the house. There aren’t too many vendors there, but the ones that are carry most of what I am seeking: pork, beef, chicken, eggs, salad greens, and tomatoes. Most of the fare is organic in nature.
Noticing one of the vendors has applewood smoked bacon, I made a beeline while fishing out a tenner from my pocket.
Whoever it was that discovered bacon, I bow deeply to your genius. Combining salt curing with smoky goodness with pork fat is just a wondrous thing.
[...] Sorry, I spaced out a bit there.
Where was I. Oh, yeah, bacon, the whole point of this post.
While gathering for a meeting the other day, somehow we got onto the subject of bacon (this is a little weird since we were waiting for a Head Hunter to arrive). I mentioned how I normally cook a pound at a time in the oven and got some pretty weird looks. I thought everyone knew this trick.
First, preheat your oven to around 350°F. Line a baking sheet with foil (you can skip this if you’d like, but it makes cleanup way easier). Lay out your bacon. Feel free to overlap it a bit as it shrinks when it cooks. If the whole pound won’t fit, lay a rack over the baking sheet and finish laying out the slices.
Pop this into your oven and walk away for 20 minutes. If your bacon is really thinly sliced, it might cook faster. If it’s thicker, it may take longer. If your oven temperature isn’t consistent, who knows how long it might take. Twenty minutes is a good place to start. If you like it crispy, just keep it in the oven longer. We’re bakin’ bacon not sending astronauts to Jupiter.
And here we are 20 minutes later. This bacon is particularly pinkish, but a lot of fat has rendered out of this.
If you’re wondering what happened to the pieces that were on the left, I ate them. I can’t help myself.
To store this stuff, I lay it out on some plastic wrap.
Folding the edges of plastic over, I then roll it up.
That bundle of joy then goes into a zipper topped bag and gets popped into the fridge.
Need bacon for a BLT? Grab a couple of strips, pop them into the microwave for about 20 seconds and you’re good to go.
Need bacon bits for a salad? Just unroll the end, grab some slices, and chop ‘em up.
Bacon for Chicken Carbonara? See above.
And what about all that bacon fat that rendered out? Save it!
And to give an idea of how much was in there:
Another nice thing about bakin’ bacon is that you don’t have to strain burnt bits out of the lard.
This stuff is always in my fridge — I use blue painters’ tape labels to keep my fats separate — and its really handy for frying eggs, or veggies. Take that you vegans!
I think you can judge the quality of a cook by how many fats are in their refrigerators. I keep duck, beef, chicken, pork, bacon (yes, I keep a separate container for bacon fat), nut oils, linseed oil, butter, cream, etc in there.
I’d like to thank the folks that raise the pig that provided the bacon that made the fat that I keep in the fridge.
I love Farmers’ Markets!