For The Love of Bacon

For The Love of Bacon

Bacon: It’s not as easy as hitting up the meat isle in the grocery store, anymore. If you have a family, you’ve probably already starting reading the labels and worrying about the amount of nitrates and other preservatives in your typical big-brand packaged bacon. The good news is great, fresh (and safer) local bacon is widely available, you just need to know where to look.

Chances are the butchers or meat mongers at your local farmers’ market have been selling it for ages, you just didn’t think to get it there. Perhaps you have a neighbourhood butcher who you were using for other cuts of meat? Ask them about bacon, as well. Get experimental with bacon. Try it double-smoked, or Applewood smoked, or even buy a fatty cut of pork and make your own bacon. Making bacon from scratch is probably so much easier than you’ve ever imagined. If you’ve got a charcoal or gas grill, you’re good to go — all you need is some wood chips and a great cut of pork belly from your butcher.

Pictured: Bacon-Wrapped Blue Cheese Stuffed Dates

As far as recipes go, bacon is one of the most versatile ingredients out there. It’s really hard to add bacon to a dish and have it turn out tasting worse. Wrap something in bacon before you cook it, like a chicken, turkey or even pork roast, and be prepared to have juiciness and flavour at a level you’ve never before achieved! Insert bacon in the place of other meats where you might not have though of before. Pepperoni and cheese pizza? Try bacon and cheese. You’re welcome. It’s great on almost any kind of sandwich out there. It’s delicious in mashed potatoes, with a little sour cream and chives. Trying to get the kids to eat more vegetables? Just add bacon, or cook using bacon fat. Brussels sprouts and bacon are a match made in heaven. Preserve the small bowl of bacon fat after cooking, and use it in the future in place of butter or oil, for a natural flavour-enhancer. Whip up a delicious bacon vinaigrette with the leftover fat for a very quick salad dressing.

Pictured: Bacon and Sour Cream Chicken Crockpot

The bottom line is: if you want to cook more like a chef, find some high-quality bacon, and don’t use it sparingly!

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