Saturday, February 19, 2011

The bacon is here!

And it looks like real bacon! *beams like a proud parent*

It looks like real bacon!

After letting the pork bellies sit in the cure for 7 days, I took them out of the fridge yesterday and rinsed them off:

About to rinse

Ready to roast

...and roasted them in the oven:

Roasting the bacon

Roasted bacon

Mmm, bacon.

Everybody, this is seriously delicious stuff. The garlic comes through pretty strong, which is certainly not a problem for me. Love it! I do kind of wish, since we ended up curing the bacon in two separate bags, that I'd done one savory and one sweet, but when it comes down to it, I am not disappointed at all with the savory version.

Anyone who knows me or has read this blog in the past should not be surprised at the first dish I chose to feature the bacon, since it combines bacon with two of my other favorite foods:

Bacon, beans, and brussels sprouts

That's right: bacon, brussels sprouts, and beans. If you're following along, here's the recipe!

Bacon, Brussels Sprouts, and Beans

Serves two as a main course, more as a side

1 lb fresh brussels sprouts
1 can cannellini or navy beans, drained
2-4 slices of bacon (I cut mine thick; how much you use is really up to you)
Salt and pepper
Vinegar (red wine, champagne, balsamic, apple cider--whatever you've got!)
  • Trim the ends off of the brussels sprouts and slice them in half, top to bottom (if they're especially large, maybe slice into thirds).
  • Cut your bacon into 1-inch pieces.
  • Heat a heavy pan over medium heat; when it's hot, add the bacon. Cook until it's as crispy as you like it, then remove from the pan, leaving the grease in the pan.
Frying the bacon...

Crispy lardons
  • Add the brussels sprouts to the hot, bacon-greasy pan. Let them sit for a couple minutes to brown on one side, then give them a stir. Let them cook, stirring occasionally, until they are tender. (Depending on how much bacon grease you had, you may need to add a little olive oil to keep things loose.)
brussels sprouts
  • While the brussels sprouts cook, drain the can of beans (and rinse if you like).
  • After the brussels sprouts are tender, add the beans to the pan. Stir, cooking for just a couple minutes, until the beans are warmed through. Remove from heat.
  • Add salt and pepper to taste, as well as a splash of vinegar.
  • If serving two as a main course, plate the brussels sprouts and beans, then divide the bacon between the two bowls. If serving as a side, stir the bacon pieces into the sprouts and beans.
  • Hooray!
Bacon, beans, and brussels sprouts


Mosaica said...

What a lovely post. Your bacon is very handsome indeed, and the dish you made has my favorite foods too :-)

I'll be making it soon; thanks!

MrsWheelbarrow said...

Your bacon is pretty pretty! My guess is that savory version will be gone soon, and you're going to try your hand at sweet next! Love the addition of beans to this dish. I've often mixed brussies with bacon, but beans is downright inspired. Thanks for playing along! - Cathy

Ayn said...

Thank you, ladies!

I've got a lot of the basic dry cure left, so at some point I'll definitely try some sweet maple bacon.

Annapet said...

Ayn, thanks for stopping by my blog! your bacon looks gorgeous! Hopefully I'll get more pork belly this weekend.

Would love to try your BBSB!

Julie said...

Yum - made it this afternoon and LOVED it!