Beer and bacon. Bacon and beer. Whichever way you look at it, coating bacon in beer has got to come out awesome, right? Right.
I first started playing with this recipe when Paul, the chef from Urban Tap House, tweeted that they were serving candied bacon as a bar snack. Genius, I thought. As my wallet disagreed with me going for a few beers and some lovely lovely bacon, I decided to try and replicate it at home. The beer came into the picture later, but that’s just because I would make tea with beer if I could find the right tea and the right beer. This recipe is fairly simple. I found the hardest thing was not eating all of the bacon while it was resting.
Beer choice. I went IPA on this one, the rest of the internet seems to favour stouts and porters in candied bacon, but screw what everyone else thinks, this works. I used Landmark from The Waen Brewery, which is fast becoming a favourite beer of mine, I’ve tried the same recipe with Tiny Rebel‘s Hadouken, but found it came out a little overpowering, which could probably be balanced nicely with some spice (one for the chilli lovers?)
You will need:
- 400g (ish) THICK streaky bacon. I can’t stress the importance of thick cut bacon enough. Supermarket meat won’t do for this one, pop to your local butcher. For reference my bacon was 13 rashers.
- 140g Brown Sugar
- 140ml Beer
- 1/2 tsp Sweet smoked paprika.
Cook the bacon in a large frying pan over a medium/high heat. You’ll probably have to do this in batches, as you need the bacon cooked fairly crispy.
When each batch of bacon is cooked, put it onto kitchen paper to soak off the excess fat. Wash the frying pan, you’ll need it again soon!
Add the beer, sugar and paprika to a saucepan. Cook over a medium heat, stirring constantly to prevent the sugar burning, until it has reduced into a syrup.
When you think it’s done, dip the back of a spoon into the syrup. If, after a few seconds, it has more or less solidified on the spoon, it’s ready.
Dip your now solid bacon into the glaze, then fry over a medium heat for around 15-30 seconds a side. I find that this stops too much of the glaze sticking to whatever you put the bacon on for the next step.
Place the bacon onto a plate and pop in the fridge for around an hour to solidify the glaze. If any pieces are touching, they will stick together. This glaze is like glue!
Serve as a side to whatever you think isn’t good enough without bacon, crumble over our Beer Mac and Cheese, throw it on a burger or just eat it whilst enjoying a great beer. I did, and I don’t regret it for a second.
Did you make this? Did you change anything? Let us know in the comments or via Twitter!