You may or may not know that I have a *mild* obsession with salted cured meats. I love them all – prosciutto, salami, pastrami, sopressata, corned beef, bresaola, panchetta, bacon… you get the idea!
Over the last few years I have heard rumors of hard to find, high quality bacon available by mail order, and a co-worker raves about the bacon he receives as part of a bacon-of-the-month club. Who knew that such an amazing thing existed!!! After inquiring as to the source of the magical bacon club, I ended up on the website for Zingerman’s Mail Order (http://www.zingermans.com). I purchased a few highly recommended items, and thy were shipped overnight from Michigan – arriving chilled in a Styrofoam cooler whose very existence on my front step made it very hard for me to concentrate at work the next day! I could (and probably will) do an entire post on the site, but for now, it’s all about the BACON!
I was most excited about the jowl bacon, a smoked bacon made (you guessed it!) from the jowl portion of the pig, instead of the more popular belly. The jowl bacon is shorter than standard bacon, and the meat is more marbled. This version was cut to a nice thickness, and I could not WAIT to start cooking!
We woke up early on Saturday, and the bacon went on right away. Slices were arranged in a cold pan, and then cooked over medium heat.
These little beauties start to render quickly, and need to be turned/rotated often until they are cooked to your desired level of doneness. I like really crispy rendered bacon, so I cook to a nice golden brown, and then drain on paper towels. *This bacon shrinks quite a bit, but not to worry! Save the leftover fat and use it sparingly to add smoky, meaty flavor todishes like pan fried potatoes etc.
After draining off most of the fat, I fried eggs in the same pan – adding a ton of flavor (and texture) to the standard sunny-side-up breakfast stalwarts. No salt or pepper needed.
I can confirm that I am a huge fan of Burgers’ Smokehouse Country Pork Jowl Bacon – it is full of flavor, and has a satisfyingly crisp texture that you can not get all the time when using standard mass produced (wet cured) bacon. The flavor is deeper and more nuanced, salty, smoky, and slightly sweet in the background.
This bacon is not just for breakfast either – It would make an amazing BLT, would add wonderful depth to bean or vegetable dishes, and (crumbled up) would make the humblest salad or baked potato shine.http://www.zingermans.com/ Telephone 1.888.636.8162 FAX 1.734.477.6988 Email firstname.lastname@example.org