Bringing Home the Bacon Steak
December 19, 2014 9:55 AM   Subscribe

I'm going to splurge on some Burgers' Smokehouse Thick Bacon Steaks for dinner tonight. What can I cook that will really take advantage of having super thick flavorful bacon?

-I'd like to make the whole package and make a balanced meal, so multiple dishes all using bacon in them would be great.

-I'd like to make a vegetable or salad as well as a main course.

-I'd like to make recipes that you couldn't make just as easily/better with thin cut bacon; so, yes to warm green bean salad with lardons, no to bacon-wrapped asparagus.

-I'm an omnivore (obviously) but I'm allergic to pecans and walnuts. I'm going to a very well-stocked gourmet "international" supermarket so I can get pretty much anything.

-I have an oven, stove, immersion blender, kitchenaid, food processor, a million specialized pieces of's winter in Chicago, so I won't be barbecuing, and I'd prefer not to make any yeast-risen breads (quick breads are fine), but everything else is fair game.

-This is just a weeknight dinner and not some multi-hour cooking project (I have the Miette Tomboy cake I'm making this Sunday for that).
posted by Juliet Banana to Food & Drink (10 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
I always think that good bacon really shines in a BLT, but I'm not sure that's really what you're going for. That's what I would make though.
posted by quaking fajita at 10:27 AM on December 19, 2014 [2 favorites]

When I myself occasionally splurge on SUPER-luxe bacon, I cook a scientifically-formulated variant on Breakfast For Dinner to take advantage of it. Here is what, and why:

- French-style soft-scrambled eggs with tarragon.
- Baby spinach gently sauteed with a little garlic or shallot IN some of the bacon fat.
- Crusty baguette, sliced into thin rounds, lightly toasted in the bacon fat, and spread with a nice tangy chevre.

This is a plate that has EVERYTHING: the meaty, smoky, savory chew of the bacon, the delicate herbal creaminess of the eggs, the crackly, toasty, comforting crunch of bread, the milky, tangy, funky richness of the goat cheese. By combining all of the various components in a series of delicious individual forkfuls, you get a rich and varied palette of gastronomic goodness. Hell, if you included a few slices of caramelized pear or apple, you could expand the magnificence even MORE.

Trust me: this is the way and the light.
posted by julthumbscrew at 10:31 AM on December 19, 2014 [4 favorites]

I would probably do okonomiyaki.

Half-cook the bacon in the oven or a skillet. Save the grease.

Make, basically, a slightly thin and not sweet pancake batter. Use dashi or seafood stock for the liquid. Mix into that shredded cabbage, scallions, and shrimp or squid cut into roughly quarter to half inch pieces. This makes a pretty bland pancake by itself, but that's okay. You'll see.

Heat up a skillet (or griddle if you have one) over medium-high heat, grease it with the grease from the bacon, and make a pancake of whatever size you're comfortable flipping. Now is the time to shape it, and spread it out so it's even and 1/2-3/4 inch thick. Take your bacon that's been cut into pieces and parcooked and lay it over the top.

Use a spatula to peek underneath, and when that side is light brown flip the okonomiyaki. You'd like to keep the bacon pieces mostly in place and not tear the while thing apart. Turn the heat down a little and cook it on that side until it's darker brown than the first side, flip it again and cook until the first side is darker and the middle is relatively firm.

Plate it, and squirt zig-zags of mayo (kewpie if possible) and either okonomiyaki sauce (ketchup, soy sauce, and vinegar so that it's mostly tart and sweet and my preference) or plum sauce. Top with bonito flakes if available.

Note: The sauce must be done in zig-zags like this. A spiral is permitted, but not preferred. I don't know why this is, but Japanese people seem to be adamant about this, and I have to say something feels more correct about doing it that way. Sometimes I do a zig-zag AND a spiral, but only in the privacy of my own home.
posted by cmoj at 10:56 AM on December 19, 2014 [3 favorites]

Best answer: salad lyonnaise! The slightly bitter greens, the bright vinegar, and heavenly egg are perfect companions for rick, smokey meat.
posted by quince at 11:11 AM on December 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

Unless you can get a real in-season ripe tomato, scratch the BLT. But let bacon be the star. Scrambled eggs, or pancakes with maple syrup, or salad with avacado.
posted by rikschell at 11:47 AM on December 19, 2014

Oh, and save the fat. Use it to make biscuits or to fry stuff in.
posted by rikschell at 11:47 AM on December 19, 2014 [1 favorite]

I think I'd try a twist on wedge salad, somehow. Quarter a head of romaine (with stem intact, to hold it all together) and quickly pan-fry each cut side of the romaine lettuce in a small amount of the bacon grease. Add some red wine vinegar, salt, pepper, bleu cheese, and large warm slabs of bacon (i.e. one bacon steak sliced into 3-4 angled pieces). Slice cherry tomatoes in half and give them a quick fry in a small amount of bacon grease as well, cut side down. Here as with the lettuce, the goal is to warm them and give them just a little browning and texture on the cut face.
posted by Sunburnt at 12:11 PM on December 19, 2014

Best answer: I am having very happy thoughts imagining big hunks of that bacon in a corn chowder or seafood chowder.
posted by rhiannonstone at 5:21 PM on December 19, 2014

Response by poster: I'm usually not a big-entree-salad kind of babe, but making salad lyonnaise is an irresistible option, and I'll probably use the rest in a corn + potato chowder in a few days. Thanks for your help, everyone!
posted by Juliet Banana at 5:36 PM on December 19, 2014

I just tried this recipe last night, and I recommend it most highly the next time you splurge on some bacon steaks: Smoky Bacon and Kale Gratin. I used regular bacon and it was still perfectly delicious, but would have loved some big hunks of it.
posted by rhiannonstone at 12:03 PM on December 23, 2014

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