Bacon bones may not be the most glamorous ingredient in your kitchen, but they can add a rich and savory flavor to soups and stews. Plus, they’re an economical choice for those on a budget.
But how do you cook them? Do you boil them? Fry them? Smoke them? Fear not, we’ve got you covered.
In this article, we’ll explore different methods for cooking bacon bones and share some delicious recipes to try. So grab your apron and let’s get cooking!
How To Cook Bacon Bones?
There are several ways to cook bacon bones, but the most common method is to simmer them in a pot of water or broth. Here’s a step-by-step guide:
1. Start by heating a tablespoon of oil in a soup pot over high heat. Add the bacon bones and brown them on all sides. This will help to enhance their flavor.
2. Once the bones are browned, remove them from the pot and set them aside. Add some garlic and onions to the pot and sauté them over low heat until the onions are soft.
3. Add some celery and carrots to the pot and cook for a minute over medium heat.
4. Place the bacon bones back into the pot and pour in some chicken stock and water. Add some thyme and bring the mixture to a boil.
5. Lower the heat and let the mixture simmer for an hour. Then add some potatoes and continue to simmer for another 45 minutes.
6. Mix some flour with water and pour it into the pot. Turn up the heat and let the sauce thicken. Then add some cream and let it simmer for 15 more minutes.
7. Taste the soup before seasoning it with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
What Are Bacon Bones?
Bacon bones are a type of bone that comes from the pork belly. These bones are cured and smoked to create bacon, and they are often used to flavor soups, stews, and other dishes. They can be added to a pot of beans or lentils for added flavor, or simmered in a broth to create a rich, smoky base for soups. Bacon bones are not meant to be consumed; rather, they are used to infuse flavor and aroma into the dish. In some cuisines, such as in Asia, meat bones are a big part of the cuisine, and meats are often cooked with the bones still intact because the texture and flavor of the meat hanging on to it is considered the tastiest and best-textured meat you can have. Bacon bones can be sourced out for their meatiness, and they can be a star of the dish rather than just a flavoring agent. They can bring wonders to dishes like Bacon Bones and Potato Soup, where they are slowly cooked until the meat falls off the bone together with other vegetables in a creamy soup base.
Preparing Bacon Bones For Cooking
Before cooking bacon bones, it is important to wash them thoroughly to remove any excess salt and impurities. This can be done by placing the bones in a large bowl of cold water and letting them soak for at least an hour. After soaking, rinse the bones under running water and pat them dry with paper towels.
To enhance the flavor of the bacon bones, it is recommended to brown them in a pan before adding them to the soup pot. This can be done by heating a tablespoon of oil in a pan over high heat and adding the bones. Let them cook for a few minutes on each side until they turn brown.
Another option is to roast the bacon bones in the oven. Simply place them on a baking sheet and cook in a preheated oven at 400 degrees Fahrenheit for 20-25 minutes. This method is easier and safer than cooking on the stove.
Once the bacon bones are prepared, they can be added to the soup pot along with other ingredients to create a delicious and flavorful soup. Remember to remove any meat from the bones after they have been thoroughly cooked and discard the bones before serving.
Boiling Bacon Bones
To get the most flavor out of your bacon bones, it’s important to brown them before boiling. This can be done by heating the bones in a hot oven at around 450°F for about 15 minutes or until they are nicely browned and caramelized. This process will help to enhance the flavor of the bones and add a depth of flavor to your soup.
Once the bones are browned, they can be boiled in a pot of water or broth. It’s important to use enough liquid to cover the bones completely. You can also add some aromatics such as garlic, onions, and herbs to the pot to further enhance the flavor.
Bring the mixture to a boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer. Let the bones simmer for at least an hour or until the meat is tender and falling off the bones. You can then remove the bones from the pot and shred any remaining meat before adding it back into your soup.
To get even more flavor out of your bacon bones, you can also add any browned bits from the bottom of your roasting pan into your pot. This will add extra depth and richness to your soup.
Frying Bacon Bones
Frying bacon bones is a simple process that can add a lot of flavor to your dishes. To fry bacon bones, start by adding a tablespoon of olive oil to a large pan and heating it on the stove. Once the oil is hot, add the bacon bones and sugar to the pan and turn up the heat to high.
Sauté the bacon bones and sugar for about five minutes, stirring continuously until the bacon turns golden. Then remove the bacon bones from the pan using a slotted spoon and place them on paper towels to drain.
Next, add the remaining olive oil to the pan and add some onion, leek, and garlic. Turn down the heat to low and cook for 14 minutes, stirring regularly. Then add some flour to the pan and stir for another minute before removing it from heat.
Add chicken stock, bacon bones, and six cups of water to the pan and put it back on the stove. Cook and stir regularly until the mixture boils and thickens slightly. Then turn down the heat and let it simmer for 30 minutes.
As you cook, skim off any scum that rises to the surface of the mixture. After 30 minutes, remove the bacon bones with a slotted spoon and use a knife to shred the meat into small pieces. Discard the bones.
Add shredded meat and potato to the pan and let it simmer for another 10 minutes or until the potato is soft. Finally, add some ham, cabbage, vinegar, and pepper to taste. Simmer for another 30 minutes while skimming off any scum that rises to the surface.
Frying bacon bones is an easy way to add flavor to your soups or stews. Just be sure to drain them on paper towels before adding them to your dish.
Smoking Bacon Bones
Smoking bacon bones is another delicious way to enjoy this flavorful cut of meat. Here’s how to do it:
1. Make the brine by combining salt, sugar, and other seasonings of your choice in a large bowl. Stir until the salt and sugar are dissolved.
2. Place the bacon bones in a stainless steel or food-grade plastic container with a lid or divide them between two gallon-sized ziplock bags. Pour the brine over the bacon bones, making sure they are fully covered.
3. Refrigerate the bacon bones in the brine for seven days, flipping the ziplock bags over each day to ensure even distribution of the brine.
4. After seven days, rinse off the bacon bones and place them on a wire rack on a cookie sheet. Refrigerate them uncovered for another 24 hours to help the smoke adhere better.
5. If you have a smoker, set it to 200 degrees F and place the bacon bones on the smoking grates, making sure they’re not touching each other. Smoke the bacon bones until they reach an internal temperature of 150 degrees F, adding a handful of wood chips a couple of different times throughout the process. Smoking time will vary depending on the size of the bacon bones but you can expect it to take about 2 hours.
6. Once done, wrap the bacon bones and freeze them for long-term storage or refrigerate if you plan on using them within a week.
7. If you don’t have a smoker, you can create a makeshift smoker in your oven by placing some wood chips in the bottom of a roasting pan (or something similar) on the bottom shelf of the oven. Add just enough water to moisten the chips without immersing them in water. Cover the pan with aluminum foil, creating a tent at the top where the smoke can come out and circulate around the meat. Then place the prepared bacon bones on the oven rack above it and roast them at 200 degrees F until they reach an internal temperature of 145 degrees F.
Smoking bacon bones is a great way to infuse them with even more flavor and create a unique taste that is sure to impress your guests.
Bacon Bone Recipes To Try
Bacon bones are not only delicious in soups, but they can also be used in a variety of other recipes. Here are some ideas to try:
1. Bacon Bone Broth: Simmer the bacon bones in water with some vegetables and herbs for several hours to make a flavorful and nutritious broth. Use it as a base for soups, stews, or sauces.
2. Bacon Bone Casserole: Brown some bacon bones in a pan, then add some diced onions, carrots, and potatoes. Pour in some chicken stock and bake in the oven until the vegetables are tender and the sauce is thickened.
3. Bacon Bone Chili: Cook ground beef or turkey with some onions, garlic, and chili powder in a pot. Add some diced tomatoes, kidney beans, and bacon bones. Simmer until the flavors are well combined.
4. Bacon Bone Carbonara: Cook spaghetti according to package instructions. In a pan, sauté some bacon bones with garlic and olive oil. Remove the bones and add some beaten eggs and Parmesan cheese to the pan. Toss the pasta with the sauce and top with the bacon bones.
5. Bacon Bone Risotto: Sauté some onions and garlic in butter until translucent. Add Arborio rice and cook for a minute. Pour in some chicken stock and white wine, then add diced bacon bones. Stir constantly until the rice is cooked al dente.
These recipes are just a few examples of how versatile bacon bones can be in the kitchen. Experiment with different flavors and ingredients to create your own unique dishes.