Bacon makes everything better. But before you go throwing out that bacon grease at the bottom of your skillet — why not use that bit, too? Bacon fat is a valuable tool in any kitchen, and can be used in place of butter and lard to infuse dishes with a light, smoky, bacon flavor. Try it in everything from savory soups and salads to pancakes and gingersnaps — bacon always adds a little something delicious.
These ten recipes will help you turn your leftover bacon fat into a delicious — if somewhat fatty — home-cooked treat!
1. Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing
There’s always a way to work bacon into your salad, and this is one of the best ideas out there. Alton Brown of Food Network recommends whisking together bacon fat, red wine vinegar, sugar, and Dijon mustard for a zesty and savory topping to an otherwise-standard spinach salad. This creative dressing instills the salad with a rich new character. Recipe takes 20 minutes to complete and yields four servings.
- 8 ounces young spinach
- 2 large eggs
- 8 pieces thick-sliced bacon, chopped
- 3 tablespoons red wine vinegar
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- ½ teaspoon Dijon mustard
- Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
- 4 large white mushrooms, sliced
- 3 ounces red onion (1 small), very thinly sliced
Directions: Remove the stems from the spinach and wash, drain and pat dry thoroughly. Place into a large mixing bowl and set aside.
Place the eggs into an electric kettle and cover with cold water by at least 1-inch. Turn the kettle on. Once the water comes to a boil, the kettle will turn itself off. Leave the eggs in the water for 15 minutes. Remove and peel off the shell. Slice each egg into eight pieces and set aside.
While the eggs are cooking, fry the bacon and remove to a paper towel to drain, reserving 3 tablespoons of the rendered fat. Crumble the bacon and set aside.
Transfer the fat to a small saucepan set over low heat and whisk in the red wine vinegar, sugar and Dijon mustard. Season with a small pinch each of kosher salt and black pepper.
Add the mushrooms and the sliced onion to the spinach and toss. Add the dressing and bacon and toss to combine. Divide the spinach between four plates or bowls and evenly divide the egg among them. Season with pepper, as desired. Serve immediately.