Sunday, November 21, 2010

Fun in the Kitchen #7 - The Bacon Eruption

Lisa: “I’m going to become a vegetarian”
Homer:  “Does that mean you’re not going to eat any pork?”
Lisa: “Yes”
Homer: “Bacon?”
Lisa: “Yes Dad”
Homer: "Ham?”
Lisa: “Dad all those meats come from the same animal”
Homer:  “Right Lisa, some wonderful, magical animal!”"

Yes.  The Bacon Explosion was just the beginning.  Just to review, the original explosion was essentially a sausage patty filled with onion, bacon, barbecue sauce and wrapped in a blanket knit from bacon.  Take a look...

Disclaimer: I'm not a chef.  I'm just an average dude that likes to goof around in the kitchen.  Be smart.  FULLY COOK YOUR MEAT.  If you make dumb choices in the kitchen, you're probably going to regret it.  Don't come crying to me after getting your stomach pumped.

It all started when I was asked to create another bacon explosion for a group of friends this weekend. Not being one to rest on my laurels, I decided to turn up the volume this time around.  I give you....drum-roll please...the Bacon Eruption.  It's a spicier, more savory and, dare I say, MEATIER extension of the original recipe. 

First - the ingredients.  I started with 3.5 pounds of thick-cut bacon, 2 pounds of Italian sausage, 1 pound of hot Italian sausage, 2 white onions, 6 cloves of garlic, chipotle chiles, Sweet Baby Ray's barbecue sauce and thin-sliced honey ham.

The first step is weaving a blanket of thick-sliced bacon.  Now, the last time around, the lattice was 1 bacon slice wide by one bacon slice long, or 12-inches square.  This time, the lattice is going to be 18-inches square.  This means doubling up your bacon strips for each row and column in the blanket.  You'll want to keep a bit of overlap where the slices meet in the middle.  Otherwise the structure may fall apart later on in the process.
Yep.  That pig blanket measures 2 feet across the diagonal.
Don't forget to add the dry rub of your choosing
The next step is preparing the sausage mix that will be spread over this lovely lattice of pork.  First, mix the 3-pounds of sausage in a large bowl. 

Then, turn your attention to one of the new 'secret' ingredients - the Chipotle peppers.   I was aiming for medium heat, so I chopped up 2 chiles and added them into the sausage mixture.  If you like a little more spice, just ad another chopped pepper or two.  Then, mince in 6 garlic cloves and mix everything together into a uniform mass. 

Hot and savory.  They should really fill out the flavor.
Now, take your sausage ball and spread it in an even layer over your bacon blanket.  Make sure to leave 1-2 inches around the outside of the blanket uncovered by sausage - you'll need that extra bacon later on when we wrap up the whole mixture.

Next, fry up 1/2 pound of bacon.  I prefer nice, crispy bacon.  It's easier to crumble and sprinkle over the top of the sausage.  Add 2 sliced onions and 1/2 bottle of barbecue sauce.  Then, you're ready to start rolling.
Those onions will simmer while cooking and provide some sweetness to the dish.
Take your time when rolling the sausage into a tight log.  Once you start, there's no going back.  Don't worry if it cracks or tears.  Just squish it back together again. 
Now it's time for our 2nd new ingredient - thin-sliced honey ham.  Layer the ham around your sausage log, overlapping to make sure you get complete coverage.  Take your time when lifting the log and adding ham to the bottom.  When you're finished, it should look something like this...

All right.  So far, so good.  Now, there's only one thing left to do: wrap it up in tight.  Roll this entire creature up tightly in your sheet of bacon.  Try to end up with the seam on the bottom.  Will it taste better that way?  No. It just looks better.  Tuck in the corners and it's ready to cook.
I put the can of soda in for scale.  That's an 18-inch, 7 pound mass of bacon, sausage and ham.

Now, as far as cooking goes, there's only one hard and fast rule: get the internal temperature over 165 degrees Fahrenheit.  There's no use bragging about your meat sculpture if everyone that eats it gets food poisoning.  If you have the time, a smoker is the best way to go.  You could also grill it over gas or charcoal.  In my case, I just baked it in an oven.  Go ahead and put this sucker right on the rack, but make sure you put something on the next rack down to catch all the juices.  Otherwise you're going to have a terrible mess, not to mention a pretty wicked fire hazard. 

I baked mine at 350 and used a probe thermometer to monitor the temp.  This took about 2 hours.  When it was finished.  It looked like this...

I think it goes without saying, but this is DEFINITELY a 'sometimes food'.
Last time, we sliced the Bacon Explosion into medallions and ate them on English muffins.  This time around, the medallions were up to 6 inches across.  We ate those suckers like steak.  If you look close, you can see every layer that was spiraled together - bacon, ham and sausage.

There you go.  One Bacon Eruption.  Guaranteed to fill your tummy with pork and your arteries with cholesterol.  

The Wife is out of town this week.  So, it'll just be me and the Bark 'n' Sniffer  The plan is to get some good longer workouts in.  I'm hoping to do a 10K race on Thanksgiving, but I'll probably wait until the last minute to sign up.

Don't forget to 'Like' me on Facebook, where you can find even more photos of the Bacon Eruption.


1 comment:

  1. I don't need porn (as much) with posts like that! Sorry I missed it ... and the inevitable coma.

    Also, being one of my go-to foodies, have you flipped channels and found the experience that is "Bitchin' Kitchen" yet? I HIGHLY recommend it.