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This maple mustard candied bacon is so sweet, savory, salty, and just the most delicious bite of food. I experimented with this recipe using different cooking techniques and flavours until it came out exactly right - read on if you want to seriously up your bacon game for your next brunch! Bacon is amazing already, but this is just next level amazing.
So, I've had candied bacon before. It's a true delight in this mad mad world we're living in. But, until a few weeks ago, I'd never had it paired with a cocktail. Let me tell you: LIFE. CHANGING. I was at one of my favourite brunch spots in Calgary (Queen's Breakfast and Cocktails - it's off the beaten path but if you're in the area YOU MUST GO), and had their Wakey Wakey Eggs and Bakey. It's essentially a maple whisky sour with incredible maple mustard candied bacon. I knew immediately I had to replicate it - and getting this bacon right was part of the process.
One of the best parts about this recipe is that it involves only four ingredients: bacon, maple syrup, grainy mustard, and freshly cracked black pepper. For me, the two keys are the bacon and the maple. Obviously the bacon is the flavour base, and the maple brings the "candy" element to the table. The mustard and the cracked black pepper are there to make sure we don't go too far into dessert territory. The balance of flavours here is terrific!
It took me a while to get the cooking process right, I'm not going to lie. It's hard to cook the bacon and make it keep it's shape, rather than getting soggy and limp (ew, I know). I first tried the bacon lying flat on a large baking sheet - but the bacon ended up just laying in it's own fat, and the maple syrup would run everywhere. Plus, it never dried properly, hence the soggy and limp factor. Then, I got an amazing suggestion from Annie over at Peak to Plate (go check out some of her recipes - especially if you like game meat!).
The key is, using a drying rack overtop of a tin foil lined backing sheet. Setting the bacon on the rack allows the fat to drip off slowly, and caramelize the maple syrup properly. Plus, it stays out of the wet mess at the bottom, so the bacon can hold it's shape! Genius!
One other note - it's important to cook the bacon fairly soon to when you're going to eat it. The longer it waits and cools, the more the fat left on the bacon congeals and looks...unsightly. Plus, it's just better hot.
Interested in pairing it with my Maple Whisky Sour? It's a treat, I tell ya. And also a complete brekky IMO. Bacon, eggs, whisky? Yes please.
Let me know if you make either of these, it's a favourite recipe for sure, so I would love your feedback! Tag me on Instagram @alpinedining, or leave a comment below!
Maple Mustard Candied Bacon
- Oven safe drying rack
- 8 slices thick cut bacon
- 3 tablespoon maple syrup
- 1 tablespoon grainy mustard
- freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Preheat your oven to 400°F.
- Prepare a large baking sheet by covering the bottom in aluminum foil. Place an oven safe drying rack inside the baking sheet.
- Lay your 8 slices of bacon flat on top of the drying rack.
- In a small bowl, combine the maple syrup and mustard. Brush the mixture over each slice of bacon. Flip the bacon over and repeat on the back side of the bacon.
- Bake in the oven for 20 mintues, until the bacon is cooked through and the edges are starting to caramelize.
- Serve immediately.
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