CharcutePalooza, you have been so good to me. I cannot stress enough how glorious homemade bacon is. Even foregoing the smoking step of the process, my bacon turned out salty, sweet, and heavenly. It fries up quickly in the pan without shrinking into nothingness, and has a delightful crispy chew. It therefore boggles my mind that more people don't try this easy cure at home.
The beautiful thing about making your own is that you have complete control over what goes into it, how it's flavored, and also how it is cut. My biggest complaint about grocery store bacon (besides the price) is how terribly thin it is. I'm not looking to eat bacon flavored paper, I want something I can sink my teeth into. Speaking of price, to make a 3lb. slab of bacon, all of my ingredients cost me under $12 (local farm-raised pork included). Now that I know how easy it is to make, I will never buy bacon from the store again. And thank the stars, when the Zombie Apocalypse comes, I will not be without the good stuff.
What have I been doing with all of this tasty meat? Well, I admit I haven't been too creative in the bacon cooking department. I do realize that there is a vast array of different applications for such a lovely and versatile food. I could be flavoring stews and beans, or wrapping all sorts of cuts of meat, maybe even candying it for a Bloody Mary perhaps (Ok, that is totally on the list). But really, I've just been eating it with eggs for breakfast. I love all ways in which bacon can be prepared, but now that my hens are churning out small mountains of eggs each day, how could I possibly resist home cured bacon with freshly laid eggs straight from the backyard?
I did, however, try a slightly new variation on the eggs and bacon dish this morning. After an exceptionally crappy week (yes, I am sick, again), I thought maybe something warming and hearty would help heal my tired germy soul. And it is so easy to throw together that excuses such as sickness, hangovers, or sleepy Sunday mornings don't apply here.
Baked Eggs with Bacon
1 thick slice of rustic bread
2 slices bacon
1 slice sharp cheddar cheese (Try Seaside, Cabot Black wax, or Tillamook)
salt & pepper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Fry bacon over medium heat in skillet, drain on paper towels.
Brush a small amount of bacon grease onto bottom of a small ramekin or baking dish.
Add bread slice, top with cheese, layer on bacon, and crack eggs on top (It is ok if eggs slide off, the parts that touch the sides of the dish get extra crispy and delicious).
Sprinkle with salt and pepper to taste.
Bake anywhere from 12-16 minutes, depending on how you like your eggs (If you like your eggs cooked hard, you can break the yolks before you bake them).
This recipe is as equally easy to make for a crowd as it is for one person. You can layer all of your ingredients into a large casserole dish if you are making this for several people.