Confessions of a Jewish Bacon Lover

It’s all there in the title really. I love bacon. You don’t have to worry about the state of my kitchen – it’s still kosher. The bacon in question is cured beef belly from Grow and Behold.* The founder and CEO of this company was a classmate of mine from age three till high school, so I paid close attention to the various specialty products they were making – sausage, etc. When they introduced a bacon product that seemed to actually behave like bacon,*** I jumped at the opportunity to try it. Our first experience involved fried rashers of bacon and then eggs that had been scrambled in the fat. This made the eggs a bit too rich, but I knew that I could do a lot with this new product.

We joined a CSA the summer before we got married. This meant we ended up with a whole whack of interesting vegetables that Himself was not a big fan of. The first summer I mostly made frittatas out of the dark leafy greens or traded them for more of what the both of us would eat. The second summer, I turned to bacon. It turns out that Himself does enjoy greens properly removed of their bitterness, sautéed in bacon fat and served with bacon crispy bits. So we’ve been eating greens that way for the last few years now.

Bacon Sautéed/Braised Greens

Ingredients:

  • Dark Leafy Greens (kale, chard, collards)
  • Grow & Behold Beef Bacon (either thick cut rashers or chunks)
  • Lots of garlic
  • Chicken Stock
  • Lemon Juice
  • Red Pepper Flakes

Directions

  1. Cut the bacon into small pieces (lardons would be appropriate, I go for itty bitty chunks)
  2. Place them in a large sauté pan (that has a lid) over medium high heat to render out the fat
  3. When the bacon is crispy, remove to a small bowl. Leave the fat in the pan.
  4. If making chard, dump the chopped stems in the fat with some salt. If making hardier greens, skip this step as you will have thrown out the stems.
  5. Chop the garlic VERY fine. Throw it in the fat (with salt if not making chard) on low heat to gently cook the garlic.
  6. Deglaze the pan with chicken stock, scraping up all the lovely brown bits on the bottom of the pan.
  7. If making hardy greens, toss them in the pan now with some extra chicken stock and cover the pan. Cook the greens until soft. If making chard, toss the sliced leaves in the pan and crank the heat up to high. Cook until wilted.
  8. When the greens are soft and wilted, season with red pepper flakes and lemon juice. Stir the crispy bacon pieces back in.
  9. Serve to a grateful family.

*Purveyor of fine kosher happy** cows, chickens, lamb and ducks.

**By which I mean allowed to roam free as their natures move them and eat mostly grass, rather than crammed into barns and feedlots and served corn.

***Rather than beef fry, which doesn’t have the right kind of fat striations and mostly just winds up being curly and crispy and not quite good enough.

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