Charcutepalooza April Challenge: Hot Smoked Bacon

The April charcutepalooza challenge was hot smoking. I live in an apartment, and my stove has no extractor hood. I almost thought I would not be able to do this challenge, but then I learned about the stove top smoker. It is a small contraption that allows you to smoke foods indoors. It was so easy to use, that I’ve already used it three times. I found that if you seal the edges with aluminum foil no smoke will escape. I made hickory smoked bacon, alder wood smoked jowl, and apple wood smoked salmon.

The jowl I’ve mostly eaten as regular bacon, with eggs for breakfast. The hickory smoked bacon is full flavored and perfect to use in recipes with beans or greens.

I’m all for using all parts of an ingredient and for a long time I’ve read all about cooking beet greens just like any other type of greens. But every time I buy beets, the greens do not look very appetizing. They are often wilted, or bruised so that just did not inspire me to attempt making anything with them. On a market trip, I saw these red and golden beets with gorgeous greens! All I could think about was cooking them with some of my homemade hickory smoked bacon.

And when you think about it, if you buy beets you are really getting 2 ingredients: tops and bottoms. So don’t throw away those beet greens! The best part is that they cook in just a few minutes. The taste is very similar to Swiss chard. Don’t overcook them, you want them to be tender and retain some of their bright green color. You could even make a green salad with the smaller more tender leaves, and serve them with roasted beets, crumbled goat cheese, and a simple vinaigrette.

Beets Greens with Hickory Smoked Bacon
Adapted from Simply Recipes

• 2 bunches beet greens (from 6 beets), washed, stems removed, and chopped
• 1 strip bacon
• 1 small onion, chopped
• 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
• ¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
• ½ cup low sodium chicken stock
• 1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar
• 2 teaspoons sugar
• Salt and pepper to taste
1. In a large sauce pan, over medium heat, cook bacon until crispy and remove. Chop bacon and set aside.
2. Add in the onion, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Cook until onions soften.
3. Add chicken stock, apple cider vinegar, and sugar.
4. Cook for about 5-10 minutes, or until greens are tender. Add in chopped bacon and season with salt and pepper.

Take a look at my second April charcutepalooza post to see what I made with my home-made smoked salmon!

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