Bacon Brittle: an easy pork recipe

Bacon Brittle: an easy pork recipe

For all you pork fans, here is one easy pork-based recipe with minimal ingredients: Bacon Brittle.

2011 has been a year of adventures for the Cooking with Caitlin crew. We have been to Chicago, New York, Italy, and LA this year. With every adventure comes new food – including the dishes I create when left alone in a new city.

The back story:

Our stay was short:  Kelly was in LA for 36 hours, Molly 40 hours, and I was there for 48 hours. The three of us descended upon old friends and took over their home during that time period. So, we wanted to do something special to thank them. On my last day in LA I had a meeting in West Hollywood and I had some time to kill before the actual meeting. So of course, I went grocery shopping.

I found an amazing grocery store on the corner and quickly walked in hoping for inspiration. I came across these delicious pound cakes from the bakery and I decided to make a pound cake buffet for them. I also bought fresh fruit, some seasonings, BACON, pretzels, brown sugar, and honey mustard. After buying bags of groceries, I crossed the street and went to the meeting. I am lucky to get to pull the chef card so it isn’t too weird when I show up to locations with pairing knives in my purse or arms full of fresh groceries. Nobody minded at all!

After the meeting I made a peach and white wine sauce, Nutella whipped cream, blueberry and orange compote, and the best part of it all: Bacon Brittle! I didn’t know what I was doing at the time but I can assure you that it tasted good! Big hit with our hosts. Big.

Bacon Brittle

Bacon Brittle Ingredients

  • 1 Bag Butter Pretzels (I like the butter pretzels because they aren’t as salty as others.)
  • 1 lb Smoked Bacon
  • 1 Cup Brown Sugar
  • 2 Tb Honey Mustard

Bacon Brittle Recipe Instructions:

  • Cut your bacon into thin strips (lardons) and place in a large saute pan on high heat. Let cook until the bacon is golden brown and crispy.
  • Using your hands, crush the pretzels into big crumbs to the best of your ability. You don’t want them to be a powder but just small pieces. Set aside.

  • When the bacon is crispy and cooked, use a slotted spoon and place the cooked bacon on paper towels to drain the extra grease.
  • Add the brown sugar and honey mustard to the hot bacon grease and cook until a caramel as formed. Once the sugar has melted and it’s a smooth caramel consistency add the bacon and crushed pretzels. Toss all together.
  • Once everything is evenly coated, spread out on a cookie sheet and let cool.

Bacon Brittle Tips and tricks:

  • I like to use thicker sliced bacon so the bacon adds texture to the crumble.
  • To make it easier to slice the bacon, place in the freezer for 10 minutes for it to harden up. It’ll be much easier to slice.
  • You can eat this bacon brittle all by itself OR I have used it as the base for cheesecake. If you are going to use it as the crust for your cheesecake, press into a springform pan while it is still soft/hot so you can press it together and their aren’t any large cracks for the liquid to seep in.
  • If you are feeling really creative, you too can make your own bacon.  Check out our Bacon Recipe.

Cheesecake Filling Recipe

Cheesecake Filling Ingredients

  • 3 8-Ounce Blocks Cream Cheese, at room temperature
  • 1 Cup Sugar
  • Pinch Kosher Salt
  • 1 16-Ounce Container Sour Cream
  • Zest of 1 Orange
  • 1 teaspoon Vanilla
  • 3 Large Eggs

Cheesecake Filling Recipe Instruction

  • Preheat your oven to 350 degrees.
  • Blend cream cheese, sugar, and salt in a food processor until smooth. Make sure to scrape down the sides.
  • Add sour cream, orange zest, and vanilla. Blend again until smooth.
  • Add eggs, and blend again.
  • Pour filling into the pre-baked crust. Place the cheesecake in the oven for 1- 1½ hours. It will be finished when the top is golden brown and the center doesn’t jiggle when shaken.
  • When finished cooking, place the cheesecake in the refrigerator to set up. Once it’s chilled through, remove the ring of the springform, slice, and serve.

Here is a gratuitous picture of the three of us in Manhattan Beach (we had to see some of Molly’s old stomping grounds).

Written by: Caitlin Steininger   Edited by: Molly Sandquist Ross

Comments, Rating & Reviews

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  1. By Chris | November 3, 2011

    Just tried this and now my apartment is filled with smoke! Sugar went from not melting to burnt

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  2. By molly | November 17, 2011

    Oh dear! I am sorry to hear that. Hope you are ok?

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  3. By Beth | December 6, 2011

    I made it and it tasted delicious! I didn’t quite get the “caramel sauce” quite right. Do you want it to get to a certain temperature or just become thick? And it should be cooked over high heat still, right? When my “brittle” cooled, it was still somewhat soft. I added a few chocolate chips on top that slightly melted and this was delicous too.

    Thanks! Everyone at work loved the cheesecake even though I think I need to work on it a bit.

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    • By molly | January 12, 2012

      Hooray! How lucky your workplace is that you’re mastering cheesecake with them! Thank you for sharing. :)

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  4. By Sandra Ramey | December 22, 2011

    My BF, a novice in the brittle dept., tried this and was kind of disappointed. When I tasted his batch it had a slightly burnt flavor to it. After looking at your recipe above and discussing his cooking method to find out what might have gone wrong, it seems that maybe there needs to be more instruction in the “timing and temperature process” of cooking the “caramel.” One thing I know from making peanut brittle is that stirring is imperative. (He mentioned he did not do much of that.) In peanut brittle the recipe states “Cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally, to 240ºF on candy thermometer or until small amount of syrup dropped into very cold water forms a soft ball that flattens when removed from water” so it would be nice to know the max. cooking temp. to reach, and for how long, in order to achieve your desired result. One final suggestion: I’d strain the bacon grease to make sure no miniature burnt tailings of pork meat were left in the oil to minimize the ‘burnt” flavor .

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    • By molly | January 12, 2012

      THANK YOU for your thoughtful reply, Sandra. Surely your experience and pointers will be helpful. Constant stirring certainly is important.

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