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Mmmm.. .

BACON


Bacon Peanut Brittle Makes 30 pieces | Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cook Time: 10 minutes

2 cups (500 mL) granulated sugar 1/2 cup (125 mL) water 1/4 cup (60 mL) corn syrup 1/2 tsp (2 mL) baking soda 7 slices Ontario side bacon, well cooked and crumbled 3/4 cup (175 mL) dry roasted peanuts 1 tsp (5 mL) sea salt Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or grease foil; set aside. Heat sugar, water, corn syrup in a large heavy bottomed saucepan set over medium-low heat, stirring until sugar is melted. Increase heat to medium and bring to boil. Boil, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reaches hard crack stage (300°F to 310°F), occasionally brushing side of pan with pastry brush dipped in cold water. Remove from heat and immediately stir in baking soda. Mixture will bubble. Stir in bacon, peanuts and sea salt. Immediately pour mixture onto prepared pan and spread with a heatproof spatula. Let cool completely. Break into pieces. Serve the same day or store up in airtight container for up to 5 days. (Or store in freezer for up to 2 weeks)

Cook’s Notes:

In addition to a thermometer, test candy doneness by dropping a teaspoonful of hot syrup into a cup of cold water. At the hard crack stage the syrup will form hard brittle threads when bent. Switch up the peanuts for pecans, walnuts or hazelnuts for a different flavour.


Caramel Bacon Popcorn

10 cups (2.5 L) popped popcorn

Serves: 8-10 | Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 10 mins

1 cup (250 mL) granulated sugar

8 slices turkey bacon, cooked and crumbled 1/4 cup (60 mL) light corn syrup 1/4 cup (60 mL) water 1 tsp (5 mL) salt 1 tsp (5 mL) vanilla extract Line 2 baking sheets with parchment paper. In large greased bowl, toss popcorn with bacon. Heat sugar, corn syrup, and water in a large heavy bottomed saucepan set over medium-low heat, stirring until sugar is melted. Increase heat to medium and bring to boil. Boil, without stirring, until a candy thermometer reaches hard crack stage (300°F to 310°F) occasionally brushing side of pan with pastry brush dipped in cold water. Remove from heat and stir in salt and vanilla. Pour mixture over popcorn and toss with heatproof spatula. Spread onto prepared baking sheets and let cool. Break up into pieces. Serve the same day or store up in airtight container for up to 5 days. (Or store in freezer for up to 2 weeks)

Cook’s Notes:

Switch it up and try this recipe with Ontario side bacon. For an extra treat, try drizzling the popcorn with melted dark chocolate. Refrigerate for 15 minutes or until set.


Frisee Salad with Bacon & Poached Egg Serves: 4 | Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 20 mins

6 oz (175 g) thick cut Ontario bacon, cut into 1/2-inch pieces 1 shallot, minced 1 tsp (5 mL) honey 2 tsp (10 mL) Dijon mustard 1/4 tsp each salt and freshly ground pepper 1/4 cup (60 mL) red wine vinegar 1/4 cup (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil 2 bunches frisée, torn into bite-size pieces 1 head Boston lettuce, torn into bite-size pieces 1/4 cup (60 mL) sliced radishes 4 poached eggs 2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh chives Cook bacon in skillet over medium heat for 7 to 8 minutes, until fat is rendered and bacon is crisp. Remove bacon and let drain on paper towel. Drain fat, keeping 2 tsp (10 mL) bacon fat in pan. Add shallots to pan and sauté until tender, about 2 minutes. Add honey. Remove from heat. Whisk in mustard, salt, pepper, vinegar and olive oil. Toss dressing with frisée, Boston lettuce and radishes. Divide among 4 plates. Top each with a poached egg and sprinkle with chives.

Cook’s Notes:

To poach an egg: Crack an egg into a small dish. Slip eggs into a skillet of simmering water mixed with 1 tbsp (15 mL) vinegar. Cook until white is set and yolk is cooked to desired doneness, 3 to 5 minutes. Remove to paper towel-lined plate with slotted spoon.


Beef Bacon & Onion Spread Makes 2 ½ cups | Prep Time: 10 mins |

1 1/2 lb (750 g) sliced Ontario beef bacon, chopped 2 onions, diced 3 shallots, diced 3 cloves garlic, minced 1/2 cup (125 mL) apple cider vinegar 1/4 cup (60 mL) maple syrup 2 tbsp (30 mL) packed brown sugar 1 tsp (5 mL) freshly ground pepper 1/4 cup (60 mL) bourbon or whisky 1/2 cup (125 mL) water fresh chives

Cook Time: 3 hrs 30 mins

Heat large skillet set over medium heat. Add half the bacon. Cook, Stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden and crisp, draining excess fat as needed. Reserve. Repeat with remaining bacon and reserve 1 tbsp (15 mL) fat. Set bacon aside. Wipe out skillet with paper towel. Heat reserved bacon fat over medium heat. Add onions, shallots and garlic. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 minutes, or until vegetables are tender. Add vinegar, maple syrup, brown sugar and pepper to pan. Bring to boil, scraping up browned bits. Transfer mixture to slow cooker along with bourbon and water. Cook uncovered, on high, stirring occasionally for 3 to 4 hours, or until mixture is syrupy.

Cook’s Notes:

Transfer half the mixture to a food processor; pulse until smooth. Fold in remaining half. Cool. Store refrigerated in an airtight container for up to 5 days. Bring to room temperature for 30 minutes before serving.

Use regular bacon in place of the beef bacon, if preferred.


Braised Beef Short Ribs in Tomato & Bacon Sauce Serves: 6 to 8 | Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook Time: 3 hours

4 lb (2 kg) Ontario beef short ribs on the bone, cut between the bones 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and freshly ground pepper 1 tbsp vegetable oil 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 onion, chopped 1 stalk celery, chopped 1 carrot, chopped 6 slices side bacon, chopped 1 tbsp (15 mL) tomato paste 1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh thyme 1 tsp (5 mL) dried oregano 1 cup (250 mL) dry red wine or water 1 cup (250 mL) reduced sodium beef stock 1 can (28 oz/796 mL) diced tomatoes 2 sprigs rosemary 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh parsley Preheat oven to 325°F. Season short ribs with salt and pepper. Heat oil in large Dutch oven over medium heat. Brown ribs all over about 3 or 4 minutes per side. Transfer to platter. Add garlic, onion, celery, carrot and bacon. Cook, stirring, for about 8 minutes, until vegetables are lightly browned and bacon has rendered. Add tomato paste, thyme and oregano and cook for 1 minute. Add red wine to pan, stirring to scrape up any brown bits. Add beef stock, diced tomatoes and rosemary. Bring to a boil. Return beef ribs to Dutch oven. Cover and transfer to oven. Braise ribs for about 3 hours or until fork tender. Remove ribs and tent with foil. Strain sauce to remove excess fat.

Cook’s Notes:

Pour sauce into skillet over medium-high heat and simmer for about 20 minutes or until reduced to about 1 1/4 cups (300 mL). Serve ribs with sauce and sprinkle with parsley.

Ask your butcher for “English Cut” short ribs, cut into 3 or 4-inch pieces, between the bone.


Smoky Beef Brisket Sandwich Serves: 8 | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 3 1/2 to 4 hours

4 1 2 6 1 4 1 1 2 1 8 8 1

lb (2 kg) Ontario beef brisket tsp (5 mL) steak spice tbsp (30 mL) canola oil, divided slices Ontario side bacon, chopped onion, chopped cloves garlic, chopped cup (250 mL) beer, such as amber ale cup (250 mL) barbecue sauce tbsp (30 mL) brown sugar tbsp (15 mL) apple cider vinegar soft rolls, such as Kaiser buns slices cooked Ontario bacon 1/2 cups (375 mL) prepared coleslaw

Season the brisket all over with steak spice. Heat the 1 tbsp (15 mL) oil in a large skillet set over high heat. Cook for 3 to 4 minutes per side or until well-browned. Transfer brisket to a roasting pan. Reduce heat to medium. Cook bacon, onions and garlic for 5 to 8 minutes or until softened. Add to roasting pan along with beer, barbecue sauce, brown sugar, vinegar, and 1 cup (250 mL) water. Roast, covered, in 325°F (160 °C) oven for 3 1/2 to 4 hours or until brisket is fork tender. Check brisket in last hour of cooking to ensure there is liquid in the bottom. Add 1 cup (250 mL) of water, if needed. (There should always be at least 1 inch/2.5 cm of liquid in the bottom of the roasting pan) Remove brisket and let rest. Strain and remove fat from sauce. Simmer sauce for 10 to 20 minutes to reduce.

Cook’s Notes:

Slice brisket against the grain. Layer in brisket, sauce, bacon and some coleslaw between rolls. Serve with additional coleslaw. For easy slicing, make a day ahead and refrigerate brisket covered. Remove any hardened fat and slice against the grain. Rewarm brisket at 325°F (160 °C) for about 30 minutes or until warmed through. If ordering brisket from your butcher, ask for the double portion of the beef brisket. Though it is less lean it is juicier when cooked.


Veal and Bacon Sloppy Joes Serves: 6 | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 60 minutes

Bacon Barbecue Sauce: 6 slices Ontario side bacon, diced 1 onion, finely chopped 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh thyme 1 1/2 cup (375 mL) tomato sauce 1/3 cup (75 mL) ketchup 2 tbsp (30 mL) packed brown sugar 1 tbsp (15 mL) Worcestershire sauce 1 tbsp (15 mL) apple cider vinegar 1 tsp (5 mL) smoked paprika 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and freshly ground pepper 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cumin and chipotle chili powder Veal and Bacon Sloppy Joes: 6 slices Ontario side bacon 1 lb (500 g) lean ground Ontario veal 1 onion, finely chopped 1/2 green pepper, finely chopped 1 rib celery, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 4 whole wheat or white buns

Bacon Barbeque Sauce: Heat a medium saucepan set over medium heat. Cook bacon for 7 to 10 minutes or until golden, removing excess fat as needed. Stir in onion, garlic and thyme. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes or until onion is soft. Add tomato sauce, ketchup, brown sugar, Worcestershire sauce, vinegar, paprika, salt, pepper, cumin and chili powder. Bring to boil, stirring to scrape and incorporate any brown bits into the sauce. Reduce heat to low. Simmer for 30 minutes or until sauce thickens and coats the back of a spoon. Set aside.

Cook’s Notes:

Sloppy Joes: Heat a large skillet set over medium heat. Cook bacon for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden. Drain all but 2 tbsp (30 mL) fat. Increase heat to medium-high. Crumble in veal. Cook for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Stir in onion, green pepper, celery and garlic. Cook, stirring for 5 to 7 minutes or until vegetables are tender. Add Bacon Barbecue Sauce. Bring to a simmer. Reduce heat to low. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 3 to 5 minutes or until mixture is thick and flavourful. Serve on buns.

Substitute lean ground Ontario beef for veal, if desired. For a milder version omit chipotle chili powder. To dress this up a bit look for flour dusted artisanal buns.


Southwest Turkey & Bacon Shepherd’s Pie Serves: 4-6 | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 50 min

Topping: Cook Yukon Gold and sweet potatoes in a saucepan of salted boiling water set over medium heat. Cook for 15 to 18 minutes or until tender. Drain well and mash. Add milk, butter, salt and pepper. Meanwhile. Preheat oven to 400°F. Heat oil in an ovenproof 10-inch (25 cm) skillet set over medium heat. Cook bacon, for 5 to 8 minutes or until golden. Increase heat to medium-high. Crumble in turkey. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Add onion, celery, red pepper, garlic, chili powder, cumin, coriander and oregano. Cook stirring for 5 to 8 minutes or until vegetables start to soften.

Topping: 1 lb (500 g) Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and chopped 1 lb (500 g) sweet potatoes, peeled and chopped 1/4 cup (60 mL) milk 3 tbsp (45 mL) butter 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt 1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground pepper Meat Filling: 1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil 4 slices Ontario side bacon, chopped 1 1/4 lb (625 g) lean ground Ontario turkey 1/2 tsp (2 mL) salt 1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground pepper 1 onion, finely chopped 1 stalk celery, finely chopped 1 red pepper, finely chopped 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped 1 tbsp (15 mL) chili powder 1 tsp (5 mL) cumin 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground coriander 1/2 tsp (2 mL) dried oregano 2 tbsp (30 mL) all-purpose flour 1 1/4 cup (300 mL) chicken broth 1 tbsp (15 mL) Worcestershire sauce 1 tbsp (15 mL) Dijon mustard 1 tsp (5 mL) brown sugar 1 cup (250 mL) corn 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped cilantro

Sprinkle in flour. Cook, stirring for 2 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, Worcestershire sauce, mustard and brown sugar. Bring to a simmer. Cook, stirring for 5 to 8 minutes or most of the liquid as evaporated. Stir in corn and cilantro.

Cook’s Notes:

Spoon topping over filling; smooth top. Bake for 30 to 35 minutes or until filling is bubbly and topping is hot and golden.

You can make this in a 9-inch glass baking dish if you prefer. Make ahead: Assemble earlier in the day and refrigerate until ready to bake.


Stuffed Flank Steak with Blue Cheese and Bacon Serves: 6-8 | Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 20-25 mins

2 lb (1 kg) Ontario flank steak 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and freshly ground pepper 6 slices Ontario bacon, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 2 shallots, minced 2 cups (500 mL) arugula 2 tbsp (30 mL) chopped fresh parsley 3/4 cup (175 mL) crumbled blue cheese 1/4 cup (60 mL) seasoned croutons, crushed 1 tbsp (15 mL) extra virgin olive oil Preheat oven to 350°F (180°C). Set the flank steak on a large cutting board. Butterfly the steak lengthwise, so it opens like a book. Pound with a meat mallet so the steak is even, about 1/4-inch (5 mm) thick. Season both sides with salt and pepper. In skillet over medium heat fry bacon, garlic and shallots for 7 to 8 minutes, until bacon is rendered and vegetables are tender. Remove from pan. Add arugula to pan and cook for about 2 minutes. Remove from pan and press to release an excess liquid. Combine with bacon mixture. Spread bacon mixture over steak, leaving a 1 inch (2.5 cm) border. Top with parsley and crumbled blue cheese and crushed croutons. Tightly roll steak lengthwise into a log, tucking in the edges as you roll to enclose the filling. Secure with butcher’s twine. Brush the outside with oil. Heat oil in Dutch oven or ovenproof skillet over medium heat. Sear steak for about 4 minutes, turning to brown on all sides.

Cook’s Notes:

Transfer to oven. Roast for 20 to 25 minutes until medium-rare to medium. Remove from oven and tent for 10 minutes. Slice crosswise into 1/2-thick (1 cm) slices.

Switch up the arugula for baby spinach, if you prefer.


Turkey Breast with Spinach & Bacon Stuffing Serves: 6 | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 1 hour 15 min

Spinach and Bacon Stuffing: 2 tbsp (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil, divided 5 slices Ontario bacon, chopped 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 onion, finely chopped (about 3/4 cup) 1/4 cup (60 mL) chopped fresh sage 1/4 cup (60 mL) dry vermouth or dry white wine 6 cups (1.25 L) baby spinach 3/4 cup (175 mL) fresh breadcrumbs, lightly toasted 1 tsp (5 mL) grated lemon zest 1 egg yolk 1/4 tsp (1 mL) freshly ground pepper Turkey Breast: 1 boneless skin-on Ontario turkey breast (750 to 900 g) 1/2 tsp (2 mL) each salt and freshly ground pepper 2 tbsp (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp (30 mL) butter 1/4 cup (60 mL) vermouth or white wine 1 cup (250 mL) chicken broth

Heat half the oil in a skillet set over medium heat. Cook bacon for 5 to 8 minutes or until golden. Add garlic, onion, and sage. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes or until onions are soft. Add vermouth and cook for 3 to 5 minutes until no liquid remains. Transfer to a bowl. Heat remaining oil. Add spinach, cook for 1 to 2 minutes or until wilted. Remove spinach; squeeze out any excess liquid. Roughly chop. Add spinach, breadcrumbs, lemon zest and egg yolk to bacon mixture. Stir until well combined, and season with pepper. Turkey Breast: Using sharp knife, cut turkey breast horizontally within 1-inch (2.5 cm) of opposite side so that it opens like a book. Cover with plastic wrap and using a mallet, flatten to ½-inch (1 cm) thickness. Season all over with half each salt and pepper.

Cook’s Notes:

Spread stuffing on turkey breast leaving a 1-inch (2.5 cm) border. Starting with skinless side, roll up. Secure with butcher’s twine, and season outside turkey with remaining salt and pepper. Preheat oven to 400°F oven. Heat oil and half the butter in large skillet set over medium-high heat. Sear turkey breast for 10 to 12 minutes or until browned all over. Transfer to roasting pan. Roast for 45 to 50 minutes or until turkey is no longer pink and internal temperature reaches 165°F (74°C). Transfer to cutting board and let stand for 10 minutes. Set roasting pan over medium heat. Add vermouth, stirring constantly. Cook for 2 minutes or until reduced by half. Stir in broth and reduce by half. Remove from heat and stir in remaining butter. Slice turkey and serve with pan sauce.

While rolling up the turkey breast, keep pushing any stuffing that pops out the sides back into the centre. Keep quite a bit of tension on the twine.


Veal and Bacon Meat Pie Serves: 8 | Prep Time: 15 minutes | Cook Time: 1 hour 30 mins

1 tbsp (15 mL) vegetable oil, divided 5 slices Ontario turkey bacon, chopped 1 1/4 lb (625 g) lean ground Ontario veal 1 tsp (5 mL) salt 1/2 tsp (2 mL) freshly ground pepper 1 cup (250 mL) finely chopped mushrooms 1 onion, finely chopped 1 Yukon Gold or Russet potato, peeled and grated, 2 cloves garlic, minced 1 tbsp (15 mL) chopped fresh thyme 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground cinnamon 1/2 tsp (2 mL) ground allspice 1/4 tsp (1 mL) ground nutmeg Pinch cloves 1 tbsp (15 mL) tomato paste 1/2 cup (125 mL) dry white wine 1/2 cup (125 mL) chicken broth 1 egg 1 pkg (400 g) refrigerated rolled pie crust (9-inch crusts) Dijon or grainy mustard, for serving Pickles, for serving Stir in tomato paste. Cook for 2 minutes. Stir in wine and broth. Cook, stirring for 8 to 10 minutes or until mixture is dry. Cool completely. Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C). Whisk egg with 1 tsp (5 mL) water.

Heat oil in a large skillet set over medium heat. Cook bacon for 5 to 8 minutes or until golden and crisp. Increase heat to medium-high. Crumble in ground veal. Season with salt and pepper. Cook, stirring for 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Stir in mushrooms, onion, potato, garlic, thyme, cinnamon, allspice, nutmeg and cloves. Cook stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes or until vegetables have softened.

Cook’s Notes:

Unroll pie crusts. Fit one pie crust into a 9-inch (23 cm) pie plate. Spoon in filling. Brush edges with egg wash. Top with second pie crust and press edges to seal. Trim and flute edge. Brush pie crust with prepared egg wash. Cut three steam vents in the top of the pie. Bake in bottom third of the oven for 1 hour or until pastry is golden brown and filling is steaming hot. Cool for 10 to 15 minutes before slicing. Serve with mustard and pickles.

If you prefer use your favourite homemade pie dough make a little extra. The scrapes can be cut into shapes like maple leaves to decorate the top of the pie.


Veal Scaloppini with Bacon and Sage Serves: 6 | Prep Time: 10 mins | Cook Time: 8 mins

6 pieces (375 g) thinly sliced Ontario veal cutlets (scaloppini), halved crosswise 1/4 tsp (1 mL) each salt and freshly ground pepper, divided 6 slices Ontario side bacon, halved crosswise 12 fresh sage leaves 1/4 cup (60 mL) all-purpose flour 2 tbsp (30 mL) extra virgin olive oil 1/4 cup (60 mL) dry white wine 1/4 cup (60 mL) reduced sodium chicken broth 1 tbsp (15 mL) unsalted butter 2 tbsp (30 mL) fresh lemon juice Lay cutlets on a sheet of plastic wrap. Season with salt and pepper. Place two pieces of bacon over each cutlet. Cover with plastic wrap. Using mallet or rolling pin, flatten to Âź-inch (1 cm) thick. Remove plastic and place two sage leaves in centre of each. Weave toothpick or metal skewer in and out of veal to secure bacon and sage leaves. Place flour in shallow dish. Dredge each piece of veal in flour. In skillet, heat half the olive oil over medium heat. Fry veal for 4 minutes, turning once, until crispy. Repeat with remaining veal, adding more oil as needed. Transfer to a plate. Tent to keep warm. Remove toothpicks. Add wine to pan, scraping up any brown bits and cook for 1 minute. Add chicken broth and butter to pan. Bring to boil. Boil for 1 minute. Stir in lemon juice. Pour over veal and serve.

Cook’s Notes:

You can prep these a few hours ahead of time and keep refrigerated. Dredge in flour and fry just before serving.

Mmmm Bacon!  

Ontario Meat and Poultry's online bacon recipe book. Smoky Beef Brisket is featured on the cover. Mmmm...Bacon!