I think it’s no secret that I’m a bacon aficionado. I love to create new and interesting recipes that involve bacon, so I was really thrilled when Jim from Des Moines Bacon Company offered to send me their products to try! I tested a few recipes with them and was quite pleased with the results, especially in this candied bacon recipe I am about to share with you. And there’s more information about a giveaway you can enter to win a free box of bacon (like the one below)!
Des Moines Bacon Company specializes in thick-cut artisanal bacon made from fresh, locally procured pork belly using a traditional dry curing process. Dry curing is a method that uses only dry ingredients instead of water. By omitting the water, there is hardly any shriveling or splattering when the bacon strips are cooked. Therefore, you can be rest assured that what you are paying is actually for meat and not water weight. In the past, I’ve encountered problems with bacon shriveling up as I’m frying them in the skillet, leaving very little meat after cooking. But definitely not so with this bacon!
Des Moines Bacon Company uses salt, sugar, and a variety of seasonings to produce four varieties of bacon that are available: Maple, Smoked Chipotle, Italian Herb, and Hardwood Smoked Uncured Bacon. Maple Cured is a great all-purpose bacon perfect for breakfast, on a sandwich, or on a hamburger. Smoked Chipotle (the one I used in the recipe below) is peppery, with a hint of spice (not spicy though), and goes well on a hamburger or with a steak. Italian Herb contains a blend of Italian seasonings, and will surely enhance the flavors of a BLT sandwich or Cobb salad. Hardwood Smoked Uncured Bacon is an alternative to the traditional cured bacon, as it is made with celery juice powder instead of curing salt. The uncured bacon slices are nitrite- and nitrate-free, which is particularly good for you to enjoy if you are health conscious and mindful about added chemicals.
I found it difficult to choose a favorite because they are all delicious in their own ways! When cooked, each of them delivers a unique aroma and taste. I love how little I have to do to give my dishes an additional layer of flavors.
Now that I’ve whet your appetite, here are the details about where you can pick up some of Des Moines Bacon Company’s products if you’re in Iowa. And don’t fret if you’re not near any of those locations, because they can be shipped to you. While you’re on their website, I’d definitely recommend checking out the page on making your bacon at home! I’d love to give it a try if I can get my hands on a smoker.
Now about that giveaway…
**Giveaway is now closed. Congrats to Lori and thanks to all who entered!**
Des Moines Bacon Company has kindly offered a variety pack of bacon to one reader! There are five ways to enter and each entry must be a separate comment (you can have up to five entries). This giveaway ends on 11:59 pm EST on Saturday, January 19, 2013:
1. Leave a comment below answering the questions: which of the four types of bacon from Des Moines Bacon Company would you most like to try?
2. Like Des Moines Bacon Company on Facebook (and leave a comment below telling me you’ve done so)
3. Follow @the_tasty_bite on Twitter (and leave a comment below with your twitter name)
4. Tweet the following: Win Des Moines Bacon Company products from @the_tasty_bite #giveaway http://wp.me/p2wTWx-AC (and leave a comment below with your twitter name or link to the tweet)
5. Subscribe to my blog by email on the right hand side (don’t forget to confirm your subscription via the emailed link and leave a comment below telling me you’ve done so)
*Giveaway is open to US residents only (sorry international readers!) Winner will be randomly selected on January 20, 2013 via www.random.org and contacted directly via the email you provided in the comment section.
And here’s the recipe I promised you…
Candied Smoked Chipotle Bacon
(makes 12 pieces)
½ cup light brown sugar, tightly packed
1 tsp cinnamon
½ tsp black pepper
12 thick-cut chipotle smoked bacon slices
Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with aluminum foil and set a cooling rack on top (I just used a disposable aluminum foil tray with ridges for easy clean up).
In a shallow dish, mix sugar, cinnamon, and black pepper. Dip bacon slices in the sugar mixture, coating both sides, and thread each strip of bacon onto a wooden skewer. Place the bacon skewers on the rack.
Bake for 25 to 35 minutes, or until the bacon appears to be caramelized and crispy. Serve warm or at room temperature.