Go fishing around in the back corners of your fridge until you find your jar or ramekin or can full of bacon fat. If you eat pork, you almost certainly have one—it's the not-so-hard-won bonus-points ingredient, the culinary equivalent of being handed a winning lottery ticket.
Bacon fat is the savory, smoky, super-flavorful ingredient you may be throwing out (or just ignoring). Don't pour it down the drain (really—don't! It's bad for your pipes). Instead, use it like the infused oil that it is and make these:
- Use bacon fat in place of butter in a batch of corn muffins or cornbread—or biscuits.
- Very cold bacon fat could hold up in pastry, too—like in the crust for a quiche.
- Instead of using oil, pop popcorn in a few tablespoons of bacon fat.
- Use it to sauté a soffrito for chili or soup. (We're lookin' at you, split-pea.)
- If your soup needs thickening, make a bacon fat roux.
- For bacon-y burgers, use bacon fat in place of butter in this classic recipe).
- Use it to sauté or roast a pan of vegetables—like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, or leafy greens (like collards).
- Stir a couple spoonfuls into a long-simmering pot of beans.
- Smear some onto two pieces of bread and then use them to make a grilled cheese.
- Sauté or roast potatoes with bacon fat, or use it to grease the pan for your hash browns or home fries.
- Fry an egg in melted bacon fat for bacon and eggs even after all the bacon is gone.
What's your favorite use for bacon fat? How long has that jar of it been sitting in your fridge? (It's probably fine.) Tell us in the comments!