The 2014 Bacon Explosion
I very, very rarely talk about food on here, but this post has become a bit of a tradition.
Back in 2010, a group of folks I know started getting really excited about bacon. Anything bacon related inspired massive discussions. A barbeque website wrote about something called the bacon explosion and people went wild over it. The recipe even got picked up by the New York Times. Marc was so fascinated that I made one for a Super Bowl party. It was such a hit that I said I would make it again, but only for Super Bowl parties so this unhealthy beast of a dish would be split many ways and we wouldn't have any leftovers.
I managed to document the 2010, 2011, and 2013 bacon explosions. The 2014 installment was already shared on Instagram, but here is the process in detail.
First, because the bacon explosion is pretty bad for you, I slice it into thin pieces and serve it on biscuits. The morning of the Super Bowl, I bake the biscuits and set them aside.
Every year, we try a different kind of bacon and a different kind of pork. This year, we went for traditional breakfast sausage from the Whole Foods butcher and the bacon that looked like it had the most meat (and the least amount of fat, but that's probably futile).
The first step is to weave a quilt out of the bacon. I have done this on plastic wrap and wax paper in the past. The wax paper seems to work best for me.
I usually sprinkle a barbecue rub on the bacon. In the past, I used a store-bought rub, but I decided to make my own this year. I used a recipe from Bobby Flay, which came up with pretty high rankings when I googled for recipes.
A second sheet of wax paper isn't really necessary, but it helps when you're trying to assemble everything.
I spread the sausage over most of the second sheet of wax paper and then add toppings. I use fresh peppers, onions, and shredded cheese.
A drizzle of barbecue sauce goes on top.
Here's where the wax paper comes in handy. You need to roll the sausage and toppings up and get them to the edge of the bacon quilt. The wax paper helps keep the roll tight.
Once the sausage is at the edge of the bacon, the wax paper can slide out of the way. Now the entire thing gets rolled up. The first piece of wax paper helps with this step. I turn the edges of the bacon strips in to keep things neat.
The whole log gets placed into a foil-lined pan. The foil is critical because so much fat is going to drip off during the cooking process. I periodically open the open and use a turkey baster to pull some of the fat out of the dish.
I baste the log with some more barbecue sauce, but this isn't totally necessary.
I cook the explosion on very low heat (around 260-275 degrees) for several hours. When the internal temperature hits 165 degrees, the bacon explosion is done.
By kickoff, the explosion is usually ready to be sliced and served. I have always thought this thing was a little gross, but all the meat lovers seem to enjoy it. I have to admit that I get a kick over how excited people are when it's time to slice into this thing.