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Posts Tagged ‘Bacon’

Kassler roasted with cabbage & potatoes

Our mate Brett got us this genuine Kassler, a pork loin expertly cured and lightly smoked by Ed Hicks in Dun Laoghaire. If you can’t find Kassler use a smoked bacon loin or rack and prepare yourself for the best bacon & cabbage ever.

Wine Suggestion: We chose a classic white Burgundy, 100% Chardonnay made in oak from a winemaker in Meursault, Patrick Javillier. He makes a couple of Bourgogne Blanc’s from a couple of very particular sites in Meursault and boy are they good. This time we chose his Cuvée Oligocene which is a vineyard partly in Meursault and partly in the ordinary Burgundy classification (despite it being the same soils and aspect). This makes this wine a bargain and we love it.

Roast Bacon with Cabbage & Potatoes – serves 6-8

  • 1kg potatoes, peeled and quartered
  • 450g savoy cabbage, cored and roughly chopped
  • 1kg boned kassler/smoked bacon loin or rack
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter

For the Sauce

  • 25g unsalted butter
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 600ml chicken stock
  • 50ml Madeira or Port
  • 1-3 tbsp Dijon mustard

Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F/Gas 6.

Put the potatoes into a large saucepan, cover with cold salted water, bring to the boil and simmer for 5 minutes, then drain.

Par-boil the cabbage in another large pan of lightly salted water for 2 minutes. Drain into a colander and refresh with cold water, then use your hands to squeeze out the excess water.

Put the bacon into a large roasting tray and place in the oven. Roast for 10 minutes before adding the butter. When the butter has melted, add the potatoes and roast together for 20 minutes, turning the bacon & potatoes in the butter now and then.

Now push the potatoes and bacon to one side and add the cabbage. Season the potatoes and cabbage with salt and roast for another 10 minutes, turning everything in the smoky butter.

Meanwhile, make the sauce by melting the butter in a small pan and adding the flour. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally, then take off the heat and whisk in the chicken stock until smooth. Place back on the heat and simmer for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally.

After 40 minutes in total remove the bacon from the oven and check that the potatoes and cabbage are cooked. Transfer the vegetables to a warm serving platter, then slice the bacon and arrange on top. Keep warm.

To finish the sauce, de-glaze the juices in the roasting tin with the Maderia or Port and add to the sauce. Whisk in the mustard and season to taste with salt and pepper.

(Original recipe by Paul Rankin.)

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Roussillon baked potatoes

Very simple and utterly delicious. Baked potatoes reach a whole new level when you mix the cooked potato with the toppings before baking for a second time.

Roussillon baked potatoes – serves 2

  • 2 baking potatoes
  • 30g butter
  • 4 streaky bacon rashers, 2 chopped
  • ¼ onion, finely chopped
  • 30g blue cheese, crumbled (we used Roquefort)
  • 1 small egg, beaten
  • ½ tsp finely chopped parsley

Preheat the oven to 200ºC/400ºC/gas mark 6.

Wash the potatoes and pat some salt flakes over the skin, then bake for about 1 hour or until tender.

Meanwhile, melt the butter in a frying pan until foaming, then add the chopped bacon and onion. Cook until the onion is soft but not coloured.

Halve the potatoes, scoop out the insides without breaking the skins. Mash the scooped out potato with the fried onion & bacon, cheese, egg, parsley and some freshly ground pepper (we prefer white pepper for potatoes but black is fine too). Pile the potato mixture back into the potato skins, top with the 2 uncooked bacon rashers and bake for about 15 minutes or until golden.

(Original recipe from Food From Plenty by Diana Henry, Octopus Publishing, 2010.)

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Courgette Carbonara

We are getting close to the last courgettes for the season and what a way to celebrate this humble vegetable … delicious!

Wine Suggestion: We drank an Aligote from Jean Fournier in Burgundy. Aligote is completely underrated and we don’t see it often, but this example shows why we should: fresh, rich and full of fruit but with a core of crisp acidity and earthiness that makes it sing alongside the eggy cream, add layers to the pancetta and parmesan and make the courgettes even more silky.

Courgette Carbonara – serves 6 generously

  • 6 medium green & yellow courgettes
  • 500g penne pasta
  • 4 large egg yolks
  • 100ml double cream
  • 2 big handfuls of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • olive oil
  • 12 thick slices of pancetta or smoked streaky bacon, cut into chunky lardons
  • small bunch of fresh thyme, leaves picked and chopped

Bring a large pan of water to the boil.

Halve and quarter the courgettes lengthways. Discard any fluffy bits from the middle and slice at an angle into similar sized shapes to the penne. If you have small courgettes you can just slice them finely.

Cook the penne according to the pack instructions.

While the pasta is cooking, put the egg yolks into a bowl and add the cream and half the Parmesan. Mix with a fork. Season lightly and set aside.

Heat a very large frying pan, add a splash of olive oil and fry the pancetta/bacon until dark brown & crispy. Add the courgette slices and a very generous grind of black pepper. Add the thyme leaves, and stir to make sure the courgettes are well coated with the bacony oil, then fry until turning lightly golden and starting to soften.

Drain the pasta and reserve the cooking water. Immediately toss the pasta into the courgette pan, then take off the heat and add a ladleful of the reserved pasta water and your creamy sauce. Stir together quickly but don’t put back on the heat.

Add the rest of the Parmesan, and a bit more cooking water if needed, to give you a silky sauce. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately.

(Original recipe from Jamie at Home by Jamie Oliver, Penguin, 2007.)

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This takes a dish we all love and gives it something special. As celeriac is in season, and very cheap at the moment, we’ve made this a lot recently and thoroughly enjoyed it each time. We haven’t tried it with the optional bacon yet but it tastes great without it.

Celeriac, potato & rosemary gratin – serves 4-6

  • 6 rashers bacon, chopped (optional)
  • 420ml double cream
  • 350ml milk
  • 2 garlic cloves, sliced
  • 1 tbsp rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 red chilli, deseeded and sliced
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 celeriac (about 500g) peeled, quartered and thinly sliced
  • 500g potatoes, peeled and very thinly sliced (use a mandolin if you have one)

Heat oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4.

If you are using the bacon, grill it until cooked and lightly browned, then set aside.

Bring cream, milk, garlic, rosemary, chilli and mustard to the  boil in a medium saucepan, then turn off.

Pour a little of the cream mixture into the bottom of a gratin dish. Arrange a layer of celeriac, scatter with bacon and season. Pour over a bit more cream and repeat the process, alternating layers of potato and celeriac, finishing with a potato layer. Cover with the rest of the cream mixture, then bake for 1 hr-1hr 15 mins or until golden and tender to the point of a knife. Leave to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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Bacon, Broccoli & Pesto Pasta

We like simple pasta dishes for when we’re feeling tired and uninspired. You can easily get the ingredients for this on your way home.

Wine Suggestion: A Chianti, as we felt like it and it worked really well with the combination of flavours.

Pasta with Bacon, Broccoli & Pesto – serves 4

  • 300-400g short pasta shapes (depending on how hungry you are)
  • 1 head of broccoli, cut into small florets
  • 8 rashers of smoked bacon
  • 5 tbsp pesto
  • grated Parmesan, to serve

Cook the pasta according to the pack and add the broccoli about 3 minutes before the end of the cooking time.

When cooked, drain but keep a cup of the cooking water.

Grill the bacon until crisp (we use a gas barbecue for less mess), then cut into bite-size pieces.

Tip everything into the pasta pan, toss together and loosen with a little bit of pasta water if you like.

Sprinkle over the Parmesan to serve.

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Wedges with bacon “soil” and gorgonzola

These are very delicious and perfect to share out of a big bowl in front of the TV on a Friday night – or at least that’s what we did. The bacony crumbs are a revelation! We expected the bacon to be problematic and to dry out in the oven but not in the slightest, the cooking just seems to intensify the flavours a bit and the “crumb” texture spreads through the dish perfectly.

Potato Wedges with Gorgonzola Sauce – serves 4

  • 1 kg medium floury potatoes
  • 8 smoked streaky bacon rashers
  • 1 tbsp dried chilli flakes
  • 4 tbsp groundnut oil
  • 1 tbsp smoked paprika
  • 250ml double cream
  • 150g Gorgonzola cheese, crumbled

Preheat the oven to 200°C/Gas 6.

Scrub the potatoes and leave the skins on. Cut them in half lengthways, then into chunky wedges. Cook in boiling salted water for 15 minutes or until getting close to tender. Drain and tip into a roasting tin.

Fry the streaky bacon in a little oil until very crisp or barbecue them like we did. Put the cooked bacon into a food processor with the chilli flakes, groundnut oil and smoked paprika and whizz until it looks like very fine crumbs. Tip the crumbs over the wedges and toss gently to coat. Bake for about an hour or until crispy and sizzling.

Warm 250ml double cream in a small non-stick pan, add the Gorgonzola and stir gently until melted. Trickle the warm sauce over the wedges to serve or serve on the side as dip.

(Original recipe from Eat by Nigel Slater, Fourth Estate, 2013.)

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We made this for a Saturday breakfast and really enjoyed the playful balance of flavours. The pancakes are light, fluffy and not too sweet.

Banana pancakes with maple syrup and smokey bacon – serves 4

  • 8 rashers smoked streaky bacon (or pancetta strips)
  • 140g self-raising flour
  • 1 tsp baking powder
  • 2 tbsp light soft brown sugar
  • 2 ripe bananas, 1 mashed, 1 thinly sliced
  • 2 large eggs
  • 25g butter, melted, plus a little extra
  • 125ml milk
  • maple syrup

Cook the bacon or pancetta under a hot grill, on a tray lined with foil, until crispy and keep warm.

Mix the flour, baking powder, sugar and a pinch of salt together in a large bowl. Make a well in the centre and add the mashed banana, eggs, butter and milk. Whisk until you have a smooth batter without any floury lumps.

Heat a little butter in a large frying pan until sizzling. Ladle in small dollops of batter and put a few slices of banana on the surface of each pancake. Cook for 2 minutes over a medium heat and turn when bubbles appear on the surface of the batter. Cook for 1 more minute on the other side or until puffed up and golden brown. Keep warm while you use the rest of the batter. Serve the pancakes topped with the crispy bacon and a generous drizzle of maple syrup.

(Original recipe from BBC Good Food)

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