Bacon Fat - do you use it? How?
In the past I have tossed this just because I've wanted to really watch my fat intake, but last weekend after making some great bacon, looked at it sadly I quickly found a tiny jar, while it was still hot, slid it in then stored it the fridge. I need to think about it (and check the damage for the fat of 1 T) I mean I do bet that I eat some things that are worse.
So I wanted to consider the possibilities first before I just throw it away.
Growing up my parents had a cannister set and in the smallest stainles steel one, was stored the bacon fat. I know my mom and dad used it, how? I'll never know, their both gone it's an unanswered food question now, that and why my mom saved her potato water to thicken her sauces. I forget to that too.
Do you save the bacon fat and if so, how do you use it?
Dice some boiled potatoes, toss with the bacon fat, and bake at 400. Most of the fat renders off, leaving a nice crips brown skin.
Or just slice raw potatoes flat, place in a hot pan with a cup of water and the bacon fat, cover and boil. By the time the water's evaporated, the potatoes are cooked and sizzling. Works with olive oil as well, but bacon fat gives it that tasty brown skin.
Yeah, besides wanting to just roll around in it...I use it for cornbread in my cast iron skillet also...ex-spouse threw my jar of saved drippings away once that I had in fridge; jeez, it wasn't HURTING anyone, and it wasn't rotten but it was damned good for some specific uses--I wanted to cry (I think I did!)...sort of like the day he combined the 3 different mustards I had in the fridge "so that we don't have so many containers of the same thing!" I had Creole mustard, the yellow cheap stuff and Dijon and he found it unacceptable...oh, dear!
I do save it! It's wonderful stuff.
I don't use it for many things, but primarily for eggs and frying cabbage with a bit of onion. If I'm making pork chops, I'll sometimes add a bit along with the oil for the extra flavor.
You can also use it in a bacon dressing for a salad, spinach or hot German potato.
I know it's frowned on (dietary police and my doctor who just told me last week my cholesterol was too high) but... as you said, I bet I eat some things that are worse.
I don't know about the potato water to thicken the sauces but I bet it's because of the starch in the water.
You're going to get some wonderful suggestions on how to use that fat. I'm going to keep checking for my own information! ;-)
Hi Chef Chicklet --
We do save our bacon fat... My DH uses it to fry up eggs, but this summer I have discovered the best use for it -- added to burgers! OMG, melt a little bacon fat (not much is needed, maybe 1 Tbs per pound of meat) and add to your usual burger recipe (I make mine with the addition of some bread soaked in milk)... If you do the burgers on the grill, most of the fat will render anyway, but the bacon fat just makes the burgers more luscious... Its not that you taste bacon in the burgers, just that the burgers taste better!
We do the same with burgers. Our red meat of choice (habit) is venison, but it's far too lean for some applications calling for ground meat. The bacon fat really helps.
I keep my bacon fat in the freezer - pretty easy to hack off a knob.
Also, it's brilliant as the fat component for a vinaigrette to put over a warm beet salad.
Bacon fat's almost as good as duck fat!. I put bacon grease in my cheese grits. It's good stirred into a pot of white beans or into soup, too.