Here at Barbary Brix, we love some variety in our flavors. Long time fans will recognize that we’ve offered our own bacon + maple caramels from time to time…. That said, when we get a chance to try some new exciting ingredients, we’re all over it. This is doubly so when we can get our hands on some responsibly raised, heritage breed bacon that comes from people dedicated to doing things right and keeping things local.
If you’re looking for the short version: The Maialino Bacon combined with our base caramel recipe = scrumptious culinary bliss.
What follows is more about the bacon and how we prepped it than the caramels. But fear not, there’s plenty of carameley goodness to come at the end. It won’t be the wordiest article, but we think that you’ll appreciate it.
For the record, we cooked down 1lb. of this amazing bacon and added it to about 4lbs. of our basic caramel recipe. We didn’t add any maple, vanilla or anything else in order to let the true flavor of this amazing porcine product shine through.
We figured that this was a good post for tons of bacon pics, so if you’re a fan of the fine swine, keep reading.
Check out the marbling on this bacon!
So, once we get it out of the package, it’s time to cut it up into even sized pieces. While this isn’t an exact science, you can get pretty close:
Now it’s time to give your chopping skills a test. Try and cut the short way as evenly as possible.
About 1/8″ gives the best results we’ve seen, without being too difficult on the knife skills front. Don’t worry if there’s not exactly the same size, just get them as close as you can. You’ll end up with a glorious pile of bacon bits that resembles something like this:
Now, into the pan on a medium heat. One word of warning, this is going to take a good 20 minutes or so, depending on your stove… So error on the side of the heat being a little too low so you don’t accidentally scorch your precious bacon!
Let it cook for a while… You’re going to see it start to sweat out and get a bit of a sheen to it:
At this point, make sure you’re giving it a slow, steady stir to make sure that all the warm, rendered pork fat is evenly cooking the bacon bits:
Okay, time to stop that cooking by pouring the whole mix through a strainer. Make sure to save the bacon fat for other treats! In this case, we had a wire strainer over a smaller pot.
Let it drain for a minute or so, then tap the side of the strainer a few times to knock any remaining grease off the bottom and you should be left with something as glorious as this:
Next to make sure that we weren’t adding too much fat to our final caramel product, we did a quick blotting on a towel to get a little more of the grease off.
Now it’s time to add the bacon to some caramel that’s just getting finished cooking.
After a quick stir to ensure even distribution of the bacon bits, time to pour it out!
Now comes the hard part. You have to wait for the caramel to cool down to room temperature. Don’t worry it will be worth the wait. Once it’s “cool enough”, cut them up into whatever size piece you like. We go for “squarish”.
Now, just wrap them up for later since you won’t be able to eat the whole pan in one go (trust us, not worth it no matter how good idea it seems at the time).
Just kidding, now’s the time to eat away! But any you do manage to save for a bit will garner you some serious brownie points with your friends and family.
Okay, enough out of us. I’d recommend heading down to the store, getting your hands on some caramel making ingredients and seeing if you can’t get your hands on Tellurian Bacon to recreate the magic!