At the end of the day, I only tried one new recipe for our Superbowl party.
Though I’d pinned and pinned for the past two weeks, I managed to exhibit some restraint. However, if I had to stick to one new recipe (in addition to my chili and jalapeno popper dip), I declared I would make the one that included all my husband’s favorite things.
Enter beer-candied bacon. Ahem. Beer. Candied. Bacon! (Mark tells me that this declaration is begging for a “booyah” to be added at the end. I informed him that there is nothing on earth – even sweet, sticky bacon – that could force me to add a “booyah” to any part of anything.)
Several weeks ago, as I took a break from searching for easy Valentine’s crafts, I happened upon Tide and Thyme’s gorgeous photo and seemingly simple recipe for beer-candied bacon.
As you know, I’m a sucker for a simple recipe, but this time, it was truly the photo that made me pause and click.
I never would have thought, when I began blogging five years ago and thought Google Images was the only place (and a legal place) to find photos to illustrate my words, that I’d become moderately fascinated by food photography. But, really, given my love of food and love of taking pictures of all the things, I should’ve seen it coming.
The moment I saw Laura’s bacon standing in that beer glass, I knew I had to recreate the whole thing. Not because I need more bacon in my life (although, come on now. Who doesn’t?), but because we have two beer glasses just waiting to be used.
[Now, if you're getting antsy reading through The Longest Introduction to a Recipe Ever, just calm down. I will get to the recipe in due time. Or fairly soon after due time. But the important thing is that I am telling you about Beer. Candied. Bacon! so you can wait. Or, you know, you can scroll down. But I think you should wait.]
See, my husband used to have this friend. He’d say that he still has this friend, but as this friend is my least favorite of my husband’s friends, I pretend like he doesn’t have him anymore. ANYWAY. This friend apparently had, back in the day when they were the best of friends, a collection of shot glasses. And so, in an effort to be as cool as this friend supposedly he was [he wasn't], my husband decided that he, too, needed a collection of shot glasses.
Which is perfectly acceptable when said friend and husband were 22 years old.
Now, though? More than a decade later? Maybe it’s a little weird to collect shot glasses. Especially when said husband doesn’t drink shots of anything and hasn’t – as far as I know – done so in the nearly 14 years we’ve been married.
Nevertheless, I love my husband. And that is why the top of his dresser is decorated with shot glasses we have purchased on every trip we’ve taken, as well as trips I’ve taken without him. Yes, I support this shot-glass-collecting habit. Yes, my bedroom contains no less than 17 shot glasses, none of which have ever held a drop of liquor.
[Side note: When shopping for a shot glass at Disney World, you must ask for a "toothpick holder." Apparently Mickey would be scandalized by the thought that his glass toothpick holders could be used for anything other than toothpick holding. Personally, I prefer to call them "dust collectors," but that's just me.]
ANYWAY. [Why are you making me tell you all this? Don't you want the recipe for the bacon?!] Last fall we visited Grand Rapids, Michigan, and like Disney World, the GR is devoid of shot glasses. The best Mark could find, on our way out of town as we realized we’d spent so much time memory-making and family-bonding that we hadn’t gotten a souvenir, was a beer glass.
Which, if you’re wondering, costs significantly more than a shot glass.
So he bought two.
This is why, when I saw the post about beer-candied bacon on Tide and Thyme’s site, I was actually more interested in the staging of the food than the food itself. And that is why it’s hilarious to me that the photos I ended up using in this here post don’t even really show you the darn glasses.
[Side note: Though they had not been used prior to this food photography session and will likely not be used after it, Mark did remind me that they cannot be washed in the dishwasher. So, it seems, all I did was create dishes to be hand-washed. Which means that for a while - likely a while lasting several days - those glasses will decorate my kitchen counter instead of the dresser in my bedroom.]
Good news. I just ran out of side notes. Time for a recipe!
1 pound thick-sliced bacon
1/2 cup brown sugar
1/4 cup beer
Preheat your oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with foil, and place the bacon on the baking sheet. (I found that the entire pound didn’t fit, but maybe your baking sheet is bigger than mine.) Bake the bacon for 10 minutes, while you mix the brown sugar and beer together. (It will not take you 10 minutes to mix the brown sugar and beer together. If it does, you have bigger problems that bacon may not, in fact, cure.)
After the bacon has cooked for about 10 minutes, take it out of the oven. Brush with the beer glaze on both sides, then return to the oven for another 10 minutes. Repeat as many times as it takes for the bacon to crisp up. Cool for an hour before serving.
Alternate method (also known as what I did when the regular instructions didn’t work for me): Brush with glaze and cook a couple times. Look at the clock; realize you’re going to be late. Wonder how the bacon will possibly cook through when it’s swimming in grease and glaze. [Wonder if that would be a good name for a BBQ team. Remember that you will never be on a BBQ team.] Pull out a second baking sheet, line it with foil, shoot it with baking spray, and place the half-baked bacon on it. Cook it for another 10 minutes. Pull it out, place the bacon on a plate and stick the plate in the freezer for 4-5 minutes.
Look, I’m not saying my method worked well, but it did work. And my friends said they liked the bacon. So, in the end, I think we’re all winners. Except I still have to wash a couple of really expensive bacon holders – I mean, beer glasses.
Do you collect anything? Do you need more bacon in your life?