Beef Bacon 101: How To Cook Kosher Beef Bacon

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THE MEAT OF THE MATTER: KOSHER MEAT TIPS FROM NAF HANAU, GROW AND BEHOLD FOODS 

naftali hanau

Naftali Hanau grew up around the corner from the kosher butcher, and has loved meat from a young age. He eventually learned shechita and founded our favorite kosher meat company, Grow and Behold Foods, which sells delicious OU Glatt kosher pastured meat to customers all over the USA. Naf joins us here at JOY of KOSHER with Jamie Geller every month to break down various cuts of meat, serve up his secret recipes and answer your "meaty" questions. Post comments below, or contact Naf directly at meatexpert@growandbehold.com.

-------------------------A Q&A WITH NAF HANAU-------------------------

Q question

What is Beef Bacon? 

How do I cook it?

How can I use it in recipes?

A Answer

Beef Bacon is a delicious, flavorful, salty-sweet specialty cut that can be used to augment everything from breakfast to salad to burgers to desserts – or enjoyed on its own. Because it is slightly sweet and very rich, the key is to cook it over low heat initially to encourage the fat to render out without burning the delicious strips of meat.

If it’s not made of pork, what is it?

Beef! 

Other than it being a different (ie, kosher) animal, Beef Bacon follows the same process as its more famous non-kosher counterpart. The plate or belly of the animal, a very well-marbled cut, is brined, cured and smoked then chilled and sliced. The resulting product is then ready to be fried, baked or wrapped around other foods.

Basic Cooking Method: for 1-4 servings

1. Lay strips in a large skillet (cold). They can be touching, since once the fat renders out, there will actually be a lot of room in between the pieces. Set pan over low heat until fat starts to render. If you have a splatter guard, use it — beef bacon can sputter a bit as it cooks, which can be both painful and messy.

2. Increase heat to medium and continue to cook, turning occasionally, until most of the fat has rendered and the bacon is starting to crisp up.

3. Once edges are dark (but not burned), transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate. Beef bacon strips will crisp up as they cool. Serve whole, or crumble once cool. Be ever vigilant for hands that may suddenly appear out of nowhere and cause these crispy morsels to disappear!

Basic Cooking Method: for a crowd

If you’re looking to serve larger quantities, save yourself the time standing at the stove and bake in the oven.

1. Preheat oven to 400F.

2. Set a wire rack over a baking sheet (line with foil for easier clean up, if you like). Lay strips of Beef Bacon on the rack – strips can be touching, but not overlap since you’ll want the hot air reaching all sides of them to help them crisp up.

3. Bake at 400F until edges and centers are crispy and golden.

4. Remove from oven carefully as lower pan will be full of rendered fat. Don’t just discard – this flavorful shmaltz can be used for roasting vegetables, poultry or in our Spinach Salad with Beef Bacon-Maple Vinaigrette! 

To save the fat, put a sieve or some cheese cloth over a wide-mouth clean jar, and pour fat carefully. Can be stored, tightly sealed, in the fridge for several weeks.

Now it's time to enJOY the beef bacon flavor in these 6 unique recipes.  

How do you like to use kosher bacon in your recipes? 

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