October 29, 2012

Lunch at Meadhouse: the best bacon ever.

We've been getting great results using the cooking-with-water method — doubt it, but try it! — and the Wellshire dry-rub center-cut bacon (from Whole Foods). But today, Meade — needing to take a borrowed dog swimming and to interact with some housepainters — left it slow-cooking for 3 hours.

Best bacon ever!

45 comments:

edutcher said...

I hope you made enough for everybody.

PS Meade "needed to take a borrowed dog swimming"?

Isn't it a little cold for that?

Rusty said...

Oh. Thanks a bunch.
As if ChipAhoy isn't bad enough.
Now I want a BLT or three.

Methadras said...

Everything is awesome with bacon. EVERYTHING!!!

traditionalguy said...

Labrador Retrievers love cold water.

Fr Martin Fox said...

I'll try that; however, when I cook bacon, I always cook a lot of it. Who wants just two slices? And it's great having some bacon in the fridge.

So I either bake it or I microwave it.

Microwaving works very well.

I wonder, could you combine the water method and baking?

Seeing Red said...

Lake County Meats has awesome bacon.

LoafingOaf said...

"Bob Wright anticipates bad unemployment numbers coming out before the election."

Immediately after watching that Bloggingheads I wen to Drudge and cracked up when I saw:

The Labor Department said Monday that it has yet to make a decision on whether to delay Friday’s closely-watched October employment report due to the effects from Hurricane Sandy.

So, Hurricane Sandy might have a very big effect on the election -- it gives them an excuse not to release the numbers! Scary stuff.

MadisonMan said...

I made some Usinger's Applewood smoked bacon (and eggs) for breakfast yesterday, left the fat in the pan, and then wilted lacinato kale and bok choy in the fat for dinner. That's the best way to eat those greens.

Inga said...

Sure, why not Father Fox? Start it out in water and let it evaporate and bake away!

Curious George said...

Regardless of how it's cooked, the "Best bacon Ever" always starts with Nueske's.

roesch/voltaire said...

Cooking with water the next phase at the Meadehouse will be cooking with the Sous Vide method :) One of my engineering students gave a presentation on this process and claims it produces the best tasting meat he has eaten-- if you can keep the water temp above 130 degrees.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Cook bacon over a low or medium heat. Turn often. Put a lid on the pan for the first 10 minutes or so. Pour off most of the bacon fat into a container that strains the crispy bits off. SAVE the fat, in the refrigerator, for other purposes, like making stir fried rice. Or dipping your shaped biscuits in before baking them in the oven. Nom nom nom.

Turn up the heat and crisp the bacon to desired crispiness watching carefully so it doesn't burn. I like my bacon a bit on the not crunchy side.

Not difficult. Not rocket science. Yummy.

With the water method, you don't have the good bacon drippings.

Meade said...

"Isn't it a little cold for that?"

For you and me, yes. For a healthy young Labrador Retriever who dreamed of swimming before he was even born, no way. The challenge for me this morning was getting him OUT of the water to continue our jog.

Inga said...

Madison Man, I never would have used ham hocks, much less ate them until I had southern style greens.

I slow cook a combo of kale and collard with ham hocks and onions, garlic, rep pepper seeds, amazing and healthy. I chop up the meat from the ham hocks and add to the greens. But with the hocks flavoring the greens it wouldn't even be necessary.

Crimso said...

Try cooking it on a grill.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

Sous Vide method.

For meat? Oh gross. A good rib eye needs to have that crispy, slightly charred outside and be dripping red, just above body temperature inside. It is the contrast of tastes AND texture that makes a steak great.

If it were the same all the way through....yuck.

Freeman Hunt said...

My dad used to grill bacon.

chickelit said...

Freeman Hunt said...
My dad used to grill bacon.

I grill bacon outdoors on a gas grill year round. I do my Thanksgiving turkey out there too, on a rottiserie.

Does anyone have a bean and bacon soup recipe for a crock pot?

wyo sis said...

The only way to cook bacon wrong is to not cook it. We put it on our turkey last Thanksgiving and it's swoon worthy.

chickelit said...

If you don't have ready access to Whole Paycheck but have a Trader Joes, I recommend their "Ends & Pieces" bacon. It's a pound of odd shaped pieces left over from cutting the whole hock. Some of it is very lean and thick. It sells for considerably less than the perfectly cut strips.

Triangle Man said...

I would like to see a list of your top bacons. I find it hard to believe anything at Whole Foods can exceed Willow Creek's fine berkshire bacon.

Mary Beth said...

I cook sausage in water but never thought of doing it with bacon.

Mark said...

Thanks for the link. Have to try that.

Meade said...

Thanks, Triangle Man. We'll give it a try.

Triangle Man said...

@Meade

Metcalfe's or the Willy Street Coop.

David Gray said...

Best bacon ever can be purchased at Thielen Meats in Pierz, Minnesota. Vouched for by my grandfather who took me there innumerable times.

EDH said...

"You must smell like feet wrapped in leathery burnt bacon."

rhhardin said...

Morningstar Breakfast Strips microwave nicely in a minute.

Add swiss cheese, butter, nuked (6:30 min at 40% power) poached egg - whites only - the dog gets the yolks - , make sandwich.

Autolycus said...

I've become a big fan of grilling bacon. Less mess, and a nice smoky taste from the drippings hitting our Weber gas grill's "flavorizer bars".

The thicker and wider the slices, the better for grilling. As always with bacon, turn frequently.

Oh, and do NOT put the bacon directly over the flames. Use indirect heat only, or else you could end up with a very large grease fire and charred bacon.

Bender said...

That sounds as appetizing as recipes calling for you to boil chicken. Which is to say, not appetizing at all.

Presumably the water is used because the bacon is too dry in the beginning, which prevents uniform heating, presenting difficulties in finding the right pan temperature and curling of the bacon.

The better method instead of using water (which chemically conflicts with fat) is to take some of that bacon grease that you have saved in a jar in your refrigerator, and place a teaspoon or two in the pan with the strips of bacon, warming the pan over low heat until the grease is melted and then increasing the heat to medium. The melted grease provides enough surface coverage on and around the bacon to keep the temperature uniform, helping to more quickly render out the fat and crisping the bacon better, more quickly, and with less curling.

And when you are done -- pour the remaining grease into that jar and keep it in your fridge as a similar starter base for any number of other foods -- eggs, vegetables, steaks, etc.

Freeman Hunt said...

I like to make bacon like this:

"Hi! I'll have... and two strips of bacon, please."

Seeing Red said...

I cook in the oven, clears the stovetop for other things.

Bender said...

"Hi! I'll have... and two strips of bacon, please."

Of course, when you make it that way, it is likely that they have a large flat iron griddle providing perfect uniform heat, as well as use of a press to keep the bacon flat.

Ruth Anne Adams said...

Bacon. Is there nothing it can't do?

Heh.

Bender said...

Bacon. Is there nothing it can't do?

Homer: Are you saying you're never going to eat any animal again? What about bacon?
Lisa: No.
Homer: Ham?
Lisa: No.
Homer: Pork chops?
Lisa: Dad, those all come from the same animal.
Homer: Heh heh heh. Ooh, yeah, right, Lisa. A wonderful, magical animal.

Methadras said...

Freeman Hunt said...

My dad used to grill bacon.


My mom used to take 10-15 pound pork bellies and cook the whole slap in the oven. She used to say, why eat bacon in slices when you can it in chunks. When she used to stuff it with all kinds of goodies too it was awesome.

lemondog said...

Ferget the bacon....where are the dog pics?!!

Bob_R said...

Reynolds nonstick aluminum foil on a sheet pan. 350 degree oven. Cook to desired degree of doneness. Blot with paper towels. Cleanup is a breeze.

Geoff Matthews said...

When you say 'slow-cooking', do you mean in a slow cooker (crockpot)? Or, on a low heat in the oven (how low)?

Fr Martin Fox said...

DBQ said:

"With the water method, you don't have the good bacon drippings."

Sorry to be dense, but:

If you cook the bacon with water, why would you not still have all the bacon grease at the end?

chickelit said...

If you cook the bacon with water, why would you not still have all the bacon grease at the end?

I think you would have the grease floating on top like turkey drippings.

Speaking of which, has anyone ever made bacon gravy?

Fr Martin Fox said...

Wyo Sis:

When you cooked your turkey with bacon, was the bacon good to eat afterward? Or was it all burnt?

Also, how did the turkey skin end up?

One of the real pleasures of roast turkey is having the delicious skin to eat.

ken in sc said...

When I was in the air Force, doing KP in basic training, I learned that bacon could be baked in the oven in a flat cookie sheet with a lip. You can cook a lot of bacon that way and it tastes great. But takes a lot of work to clean up.

Dust Bunny Queen said...

One of the real pleasures of roast turkey is having the delicious skin to eat

Oh yes. This year we are going to deep fry a small turkey. We used to do that all the time when we had a smoked food deli. Brined and THOROUGHLY dried off before cooking. It only takes about 15 minutes to cook a 10 to 12 lb turkey and the skin is great.


Speaking of which, has anyone ever made bacon gravy?

Yes. Cook up 6 or so slices of meaty bacon. Chop up and set aside. Pour off most of the bacon grease leaving about 3-4 tbsp. Be sure to keep the crusty browned bits. Cool your pan down a bit if very hot. Gradually stir in 2-3 tbsp of flour, and a little cracked pepper, over medium heat, til the flour has absorbed the fat [making a roux]. Stir in 2 to 2 1/2 cups cups warm/room temp milk and slowly stir over medium heat with a flat whisk or a fork [if you are a purist]. When nice and creamy, thick and smooth add back the chopped bacon.

:-) Yum. Over biscuits and/or Scrambled eggs.

Same way I make my fried chicken gravy.

Rusty said...

This thread is making my arteries close up a little.