Salty pork works very well with sweet stuff. Bacon and maple syrup with pancakes or bacon and onion brioche are both excellent examples. If you can feel that vibe then try candying bacon; it’s really easy and you end up with crisp, sticky, varnished rashers that shine like porcine treasure. It works much better with streaky bacon, because it’s fattier and candied pig fat is to die for. It’s still good with back bacon, just be prepared to fight for the streaky end.
Apart from chopping it into pieces and serving with an ice cold beer (even better if you sprinkle a bit of cayenne on the meat before cooking), there are other glorious uses for candied bacon. Here are some of them, foraged from the web by me, while munching on the above. Sticky keyboard ahoy.
– Candied bacon martini anyone? It’s clearly not a Martini, as the author points out but I’d sure as hell drink it anyway. I think.
– Jamie whips up a candied bacon salad. In 30 minutes or under, I hope.
– Chocolate covered bacon sweets are so popular across the pond they have their own Wikipedia entry. The Americans as ever are way ahead when it comes to putting sugar where you’d imagine it doesn’t belong and people have started businesses selling sticky porcine confections.
– Candied bacon with pecans or praline bacon – probably my favourite candied bacon recipe of all time.
As I munched on my third piece of candied bacon, I couldn’t shake off the thought of trying to work it into a sandwich. An idea lurked at the back of my mind, both exciting and faintly disturbing. People, I bring you the eggy-bread and candied bacon sandwich. Behold!
The only way to make this sandwich more of a guilty pleasure would be to make it illegal. Fluffy eggy bread yields to the crunch of candy then salty pork. Oh deary me, I did feel the shame. My boyfriend and I managed half each. We couldn’t look each other in the eye afterwards.
Streaky bacon, the best quality you can afford. If possible, ask your butcher to cut it quite thick (if you haven’t read the post above, yes I used back bacon. It’s fine but streaky tastes much better).
Light brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 200C. Lay the bacon slices on a non-stick baking tray and sprinkle 1-2 teaspoons of sugar over each one. Cook in the oven for about 6-8 minutes or until golden and caramelised on one side. Remove the slices from the oven and carefully turn them over, wiping them around in the melted sugar on the baking tray. Return to the oven to cook again. You need to watch that bacon like a hawk as it will catch and burn easily. Allow to crisp and cool before eating.
For some sweet variations try using maple sugar to candy the bacon, add some spices or perhaps some smoky chipotle flakes.