Not that long ago, I came across a quote: “Take good care of our planet. It’s the only one with bacon.” I just had to giggle! And kind of agree!
Bacon is one of those treats that always elevates breakfast, or any meal for that matter. Bacon and eggs, BLT sandwiches, bacon lardons in a good Caesar Salad. Bacon wrapped dates or smoked oysters were popular hors d’oeuvres back in the 60’s and 70’s (and I say are due for a comeback!) and wrapping a tender filet mignon with bacon ensures that it won’t dry out during grilling. Here in Toronto, the unofficial sandwich of the city is the Peameal Bacon Sandwich. Just thick slices of peameal bacon (wet cured back bacon from boneless pork loin, rolled in cornmeal) on a bun, with mustard, it’s absolutely sublime! We grew up eating rasher bacon sandwiches- just a few perfectly fried slices between toast- really one of my all-time favourite food memories from my childhood.
These days we don’t eat bacon all that regularly. I can go months without buying it. But then when I do, it does go fast. Purposely I try to take half that I bring home, and freeze it right away. So that we’re not indulging in bacon too much in a short time. Usually I just prepare it to go with breakfast, or to add to a Caesar salad. But then there are times for a little something extra. And that is where this recipe comes in.
So yes, I am giving you a BACON recipe. Not how to make bacon…duh. That is way beyond the capabilities of this little blog. Although I’m sure that someone out there could give us a step by step for basic bacon! But I don’t really want to go that far back. It really is the point of no return.
No, this is a way to prepare bacon for when you want bacon to be the star on your next breakfast or brunch table. This bacon is so decadent, and addictive, it’s like candy! Every time I make it, I promise myself that I will only have a slice or two, and the next thing I know, I’ve had five!!
First things first. This is the time to use good bacon. Go to the best local butcher you have in your neighbourhood (I go to one in St Lawrence Market that never lets me down) Ideally you want to use a thicker cut bacon. I try to source double hickory smoked bacon if possible. Get as close as you can. The really thin, less expensive bacon will be over-crisp with the baking and basting that it will endure.
It’s really a fantastic way to prepare bacon. First of all, we are going to bake it in the oven. I love this method for several reasons. One, the bacon stays nice and flat and cooks evenly. Two, it is less messy with oil splattering all over the range surface. And have you ever been hit by enemy fire- those erratic pops of fat that explode and hit your arm or cheek as you standing over or near the skillet with the sautéeing bacon? I have- it hurts! Even though I use a spatter guard, it never fails, when I remove it to flip the bacon, whammo!! Cook it in the oven, and those days are gone 😀
What makes this bacon the uber bacon, is the glaze it is dressed in before going into the oven. Espresso, maple syrup, bourbon and brown sugar get together to make the best flavour combo for bacon ever. You brush some on each slice which you’ve placed on a parchment lined baking sheet. Into a 350F oven for about 12 minutes (the time will vary with the thickness of your bacon) After the first side has started to cook up, you’ll remove the baking sheet, gently flip the bacon slices over, and brush the other side. And you’ll turn the heat up to 400F. Back into the oven for another 12-15 or so minutes (again, the thickness will determine this)
Take the bacon out of the oven and let it rest for a few minutes. You want the glaze to set and turn the bacon into a grown up candy! Once this has happened, just place a big pile of this decadent bacon candy onto a plate, and watch it get inhaled! I guarantee, no matter how much you have prepared, someone will definitely ask if there is more bacon. So just make extra!
The next time you are serving up waffles, french toast, pancakes or a fabulous frittata or omelette, I promise you, this bacon will take the meal to the next level.
ps: In the photos here, I used 4 large pieces of thick cut bacon, so I treated them as half of the recipe below. Therefore I cut the glaze in half, and it was enough to cover these slices.
Espresso Maple Bourbon Bacon
It's the uber bacon! A decadent treat of glazed and baked thick cut bacon. Adding it to your next brunch table will make you a hero!
- 10-12 strips of thick cut bacon
- 1 tbsp shot of brewed espresso or very strong coffee
- 1 tbsp bourbon
- 1 tbsp maple syrup
- 4 1/2 tsp brown sugar
Preheat the oven to 350F. Use the middle rack
Lay bacon slices out on a parchment lined baking sheet. Depending on the size of your bacon, you may need two sheets.
Blend the espresso through the brown sugar in a small bowl.
Brush the top side of each slice with some of the mixture.
Bake for 10 minutes (if your bacon is thicker rather than thinner, go for 11 minutes)
Remove baking sheet(s) from the oven, and turn the heat up to 400F
Carefully turn the bacon over, and brush the other sides with the rest of the glaze.
Bake another 12-15 minutes (depending again on the thickness) until the bacon is gently crispy (you don't want it burnt or rock hard) and the glaze has thickened somewhat.
Remove the sheets to a cooling rack and let the bacon sit for a few minutes to let the glaze set.
Serve as is (that is if it even makes it to the table!!)