Remember how I made candied bacon earlier this week? Well, not only do I love cooked bacon strips, I also love the leftover bacon grease! While discussing the versatility of cooking with bacon grease, my friend Ray mentioned how his father cooked up a couple of pounds of bacon during the holidays, but threw the bacon grease away (ouch!) I made him promise to save them for me in the future, so now we’re back on friendly terms. Bacon fat is actually wonderful to have around. It infuses whatever you’re cooking with a subtle smokiness and elevates the dish with some richness, whether it is roasted potatoes, sautéed vegetables, or how about… biscuits?
I have a biscuit recipe that produces consistent results every time: flaky on the outside, light and tender on the inside. But, as you well know, I can’t leave well enough alone. I decided to substitute the butter with cold, hardened bacon fat, and mixed in some cheddar cheese and chives to up the tasty quotient. They came out of the oven so beautifully! Bacon makes just about everything taste better, as far as I’m concerned.
If dieting is one of your new year’s resolutions, go ahead and make these immediately before the diet starts (next week, right?) In the meantime, devour with unapologetic greed. And enter the giveaway to win a free box of bacon from Des Moines Bacon Company if you haven’t already done so! (deadline is January 19 at 11:59PM EST)
Bacon Fat, Cheddar, and Chive Biscuits
(Makes 14 biscuits)
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tsp salt
4 tsp baking powder
½ tsp cream of tartar
2 tbsp sugar
½ cup bacon fat, cold, cut into small cubes
1½ cup sharp cheddar cheese, shredded, divided
2 tbsp fresh chives, finely chopped
2/3 cup milk
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Line baking sheets with parchment paper.
In a large bowl, combine flour, salt, baking powder, cream of tartar, and sugar. Work bacon fat into the dry ingredients with your fingers until mixture is coarse and crumbly. Stir in 1 ¼ cup of cheese and chives. Add milk, and stir with a fork just until dough comes together. Do not overmix. Turn onto a lightly floured surface, and knead gently for 10 to 12 times.
Pat dough into a circle about ½ inch thick. Cut out biscuits using a floured 2-inch round cutter. Press down on the dough and do not twist with the cutter. Transfer biscuits to the prepared baking sheets, top biscuits with reserved cheese, and bake until brown, 15 to 18 minutes. Serve hot.
* I like to save the drippings in a microwaveable container or glass jar for future uses. I let the fat cool to room temperature, pour it through a sieve (lined with a coffee filter to get rid of the brown bits), and then store the fat in the freezer. Whenever I need to use it, I just heat it in the microwave for a bit and melt it until it becomes liquid.
*If you don’t have enough bacon fat, just use butter until you have a total of half cup of fat.
*By the way, the bacon fat I used in this recipe is rendered from Des Moines Bacon Company’s hardwood smoked uncured bacon