Bacon is wonderful stuff. Even more wonderful is the organic bacon I get from a local farm where I buy a pig (well, the meat part of a pig) every year or so. Mmmm. It’s amazing.
But the bacon itself isn’t the only thing that’s amazing–you’ve also got the bacon grease. Bon Appetite calls bacon grease “Your Kitchen’s Liquid Gold”. Just a generation or two ago this was considered an important culinary resource. Actually most rendered fat was considered valuable, lard from pigs, tallow from cows, schmaltz from chickens, duck fat from. . .well. . . ducks. . .
The heart health scare in the 1980’s and 1990’s turned folks off from animal fats of all kinds. Now the tide is turning. Sources such as the Harvard Medical School are saying animal fats aren’t all bad (although they recommend that less than 10% of your daily calories come from them). If you talk to folks who advocate the Paleo diet, they’ll tell you it’s actually good for you.
All this comes back to my bacon grease! Whenever I cook bacon, I pour the grease into my bacon grease jar:
The jar lives in my fridge (I know that some people keep it on the counter, but since there may be particles of bacon in there I prefer keeping it in the fridge). Instead of spraying a non stick oil, or drizzling canola into my pan when I’m cooking up eggs, potatoes, vegetables and such, I just pull out the jar and use a little bit of bacon grease.
This way I’m “Using Up” all the resources I’ve paid for (because believe me, you paid for that fat when you bought your bacon), plus imparting a delicious bacon-y flavor to my foods. It’s a win-win.