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Sweet and salty candied bacon. Sounds weird, tastes great!
Here's an easy recipe that highlights the delicious, and very healthy qualities, of both bacon, and sugar…together!
OK, so maybe this one isn't cardiologist recommended, but it is very tasty, and more than a bit surprising, and this makes it perfect for a party appetizer. This was originally served at Mortimers in New York, and remains a true classic.
It is very easy, and there are only two ingredients required. Pre heat your oven to 400 degrees, and take as much bacon as required, (about 2 slices per person for a party appetizer…this is not really a main course kind of dish) and cover with as much brown sugar as you can. Use your hands to really try to stick the sugar all over the bacon, on both sides.
Place the bacon onto sheet trays, and into the hot oven. These will take about 15 minutes to cook, and should be turned once during the cooking. They are done when they are browned and shiny.
Let them cool and break into pieces to serve. Very easy and very good. Salty smoky meaty sweet.
If you have an opportunity to buy any sort of artisan bacon here, you should jump at the chance. An artisan bacon will be better than a commercial bacon in a number of ways, and will more than compensate for the added expense in flavor.
In general, an artisan bacon will be dry cured bacon, instead of a wet cured. What's the big deal you ask? Well a wet cured bacon will absorb a lot of the salty brine during the curing process, and this water will all come out when you fry up a few rashers of bacon. This wet brine is the reason why your bacon, which started out so big and substantial, becomes so wee and sad looking by the time it has finished cooking. Commercial bacon makers love brine curing, as it adds weight, increasing profit margins, and cures in a much quicker period.
Artisan producers dry cure, which means they salt and spice the meat without adding water. A dry cure will suck out the natural water from the meat during the drying process, concentrating the meaty flavors. With a dry cured bacon, the piece of bacon you put in the fry pan, is pretty much the piece of bacon that you'll end up with. The difference in curing, and the eventual amount of bacon that makes it to your plate, compensates a lot for any increase in price for an artisan bacon.
Secondly, commercial bacon producers use artificial smoke, and artisan producers don't. A few dashes of smoky juice don’t compensate for many hours of real hardwood smoking. Enough said.
Lastly, commercial bacon producers are using factory farmed pigs. These are generally not very tasty pigs. Additionally, factory pig farming is just plain old sad, and if you can ever support good free range hog farming, you should do it.
Lastly, even better than buying an artisan bacon, is becoming the artisan yourself! Follow the link below for easy instructions on how to cure and smoke your own bacon.