Saturday, February 9, 2013

Beer-Candied Bacon

   What's better than bacon? Well, I thought that bacon coated in beer might be. It was a good thought and interesting experiment, but my follow through, not so much. 
   There are times that you just can't substitute. I was being cheap and didn't want to spring for thick-cut bacon for a food experiment, so I used half pound of cheap (and thin). My problem was that the thinness of the meat reduced the cooking time (obviously) and I learned an important lesson. There is a fine line between caramelized and burnt.
   I had envisioned strips of bacon standing straight and shiny, to be eaten like beef jerky as a hand-held snack. That is not what I got.
   I had taken the rack out of my roasting pan and cooked the bacon on that. (It does do good on keeping it flat and not immersed in liquid or sauce.) I also brushed the beer syrup over the bacon and tried to time it. However, the directions were vague . . . coat and flip every 10 minutes or "until done." 
   Well let me tell you, one minute we were not quite done and the next, we were real done, especially on a few of the edges. Not to worry, I picked the edges off. Crumbled and sprinkled in the middle of a loaded baked potato, it's was right fine. Below is a modified more detailed account of how to give this idea a try. It does have a real interesting flavor.

Beer-Candied Bacon
1/2 lb. thick-cut bacon

1/4 cup brown sugar

1/8 cup + 1 T. beer

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Combine brown sugar and beer in a small bowl, stirring to make a thin syrup. Set aside.

Line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil. Place a wire rack on top. Put the pieces of bacon on the rack, overlapping if needed. Put in oven and cook for 10 minutes.

Remove from oven and brush one side of the bacon with the beer syrup. Flip and brush other side with the syrup as well. Return to oven and cook for 10 minutes. Remove from oven, and repeat process two more times, until bacon is crispy and browned. It should cook for about 30 minutes total. Be careful to watch so as not to burn.

Cool on wire rack before serving.

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