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10 sensational recipes that put bacon in the spotlight

10 sensational recipes that put bacon in the spotlight

by Great British Chefs 17 March 2017

A rasher of bacon is a beautiful thing – salty, fatty and full of umami flavour. Go beyond the sandwich and try cooking one of these delicious bacon recipes instead.

We could write poetry, sing sonnets and even choreograph interpretive dances about how much we love cured pork. Whether it comes in the form of a sausage, a sheet or a whole leg, the way salt and pig come together to create something greater than the sum of its parts can feel more like magic than science.

While they might prize prosciutto in Italy, savour saucisson in France and cheer for chorizo in Spain, the UK has bacon – possibly the best thing that’s ever happened to pork. It can be streaky, smoked, sliced or diced, but when it hits the frying pan, sizzles and gives off that unmistakable aroma, it always makes us feel just that little bit better.

A bacon sandwich is an undeniable cornerstone of British cuisine, but there’s so much more you can do with a few rashers. Next time you get a craving for bacon, try one of these recipes from the best chefs and food writers in the UK. They still let bacon do its smoky, salty, piggy thing, but amp things up a bit with some seriously tasty flavour combinations and beautiful presentation.

1. Bacon, onion and cheddar flatbread

We’ve already waxed lyrical about the joys of a bacon sandwich, but Pete Biggs goes one step further by actually putting the bacon in the bread, with some onion and cheddar for extra flavour. It takes just three hours from start to finish (and most of that is just waiting for the dough to prove), and when the loaf is ready to eat you can slice it up and make a seriously impressive sandwich – probably involving more bacon.

2. Bacon roly polies

These incredibly simple little pastries are perfect for snacking, picnics or serving with a bowl of soup, and once they’re prepared take just fifteen minutes to bake. With the recipe devised by MasterChef judge and Michelin-starred chef Marcus Wareing you know they’re going to take incredible, and the simple combination of cheese, garlic, parsley, onion and bacon makes for a seriously comforting dish.

3. Smoked bacon hash with a fried duck egg

Looking to up your breakfast game? Give Adam Gray’s reinterpretation of bacon and eggs a go, which throws in a potato hash for good measure. The smokiness of the bacon permeates right through the potato hash, and the rich, luxurious duck egg on top should have a perfectly cooked yolk, so it oozes over everything.

4. Chicken liver parfait with smoked bacon

Searching for a showstopping starter but don’t want to miss a chance to serve some tasty bacon? James Sommerin has you covered with his easy chicken liver parfait, served in shot glasses for that swish finish. Each glass is topped with a sprinkling of crispy fried bacon, which contrasts beautifully with the smooth, puréed parfait.

5. Bacon and pea omelette with cheese glaze

Nathan Outlaw might be known for his mastery of cooking fish, but he obviously has a soft spot for bacon, too. This is your standard bacon and pea omelette until the very last step, which involves pouring a mix of crème fraiche and cheddar over the top of some bacon rashers and giving it a blast under a scorching-hot grill.

6. Beef and bacon lasagne

Isn’t it a great feeling when at around 5pm, you realise you’re having lasagne for dinner? There are few more comforting, indulgent dishes out there, but Paul Heathcote ups the ante by throwing in plenty of – you guessed it – bacon. This gives it a richer flavour, a British twang (helped along by the addition of cheddar) and helps to season the mixture.

7. Bacon jam

You might have seen jars of this miracle ingredient in the shops, but making your own is very easy and much, much tastier. It’s just fried bacon lardons and onions stuck together in a syrup of brown sugar, cider vinegar and coffee, but put a dollop of this on burgers, barbecued meats, cheese toasties or pretty much anything you fancy will add a hefty dose of much-needed porkiness.

8. Apple and bacon puff pastry tart

Bridging the gap between savoury and sweet, Ren Behan’s beautiful tart is a great dish to serve up for brunch at the weekend. It only takes half an hour to make, too – just roll out a sheet of puff pastry, top it with bacon, sugar and apples, bake and then finish with a little icing sugar and some maple syrup. It’s the tart we’ve always secretly wanted for dessert.

9. Spiced banana French toast, smoked, bacon, chilli labne, tamarind caramel

Peter Gordon is the master of fusion cooking, so you know when he cooks French toast it isn’t going to be run-of-the-mill. Combining banana and bacon might sound a bit weird, but the sweet-salty contrast actually works really well, and the chilli labne – a strained yoghurt – helps keep the dish moist along with a rich drizzle of tamarind-flavoured caramel.

10. Candied bacon and chocolate tartlet with pork scratching snap

We challenge you to read this dish title out loud without your mouth watering. Bacon has been used in sweet dishes for a good few years now, with mixed results – but this tart balances the rich chocolate and salty bacon perfectly, with the shard of pork scratching-infused caramel jutting out of the top the icing on the cake. If you’re looking to wow at your next dinner party, this is the dish to go for.

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