I have to admit that I’m a committed fan of the Republic of Bacon. Bacon is the ultimate meat candy and I’m dying to try out their recipe for Bacon Cookies, but the subject of this post is the Bacon Log — which I’m pretty sure I first heard about on the Republic of Bacon, but I don’t see it in his list of recipes. The concept that I saw was a bacon mat covered with sausage and rolled. They then cooked this in the Bar-B‑Q (the grill for Americans). While I found this idea appealing, I thought I could do better.
Our concept was to add strong flavors to the bacon log concept. In our case we added old cheddar, shiitake mushrooms, sweet peppers and strong onions… but first, here’s how to make a bacon log…
Bacon is easier to work with if it is partially cooked. In this case, we’re going to weave the bacon, so we need it to be a little bit less floppy. The easiest way to achieve this is in the microwave. Fold paper towel sheets such that you have 3 or 4 sheets deep and place this on a regular dinner plate. Place bacon on the paper towel — but only 1 layer. We’re going to cook a whole pound of bacon, so when the first layer is full, place another layer of paper towel and then more bacon. When you’re finished, place a layer of paper towel on top to control the spatter, and microwave for four minutes (for a microwave of about 1000 watts). Our goal here is to remove much of the water from the bacon but not to start rendering the fat — this will give us bacon that is still flexible (not brittle) but easier to work with.
The next step is to weave a mat of bacon (look at the picture to the left). The mat of bacon is going to vary depending on your bacon — this mat ended up being 6 strips by 7 strips. We then added a pound of mild italian sausage which we flattened to cover 2/3rds of the bacon mat. We do this to make it easier to roll the finished log.
We next mixed the cheese (shredded), onions and peppers together to make them easier to spread. We then want to spread all of this onto the sausage portion of your unrolled log. We didn’t measure specific amounts, but one needs to be careful that the log can still be rolled.
As you can see on the right, the “stuff” comes a little short of the sausage which comes short of the bacon. You’ll probably want two people (four hands) to roll this. Use kitchen or other non-toxic twine to tie it off — it should end up like the first picture on the post.
We had two extra pieces of bacon, so we used them to wrap over the ends of the log to try to help with structural integrity. It sorta worked. The first picture also shows it in a cast iron pan — ready for the Bar-B‑Q or the oven. We suggest 350 F and about 30 to 40 minutes. Use a meat thermometer to ensure things are cooked for safety.
Astute readers will notice that this is Bacon Log V1.0. It was very good. But we decided that finer chopping of the ingredients and mixing them with the sausage might make a better bacon log. We also figure that putting a rack in the pan to keep the log out of it’s drippings may make it a bit better. Stay tuned. We’ll probably do that later this summer.