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Bacon on a stick

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Rod Franklin View Drop Down
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    Posted: 25 February 2010 at 19:46
WARNING: Your bad cholesterol levels will increase several points as you read this post!

This is about cooking big pieces of bacon over an open fire, then making a sandwich out of it. It's not really a recipe, but more a cultural event. This is a backyard get together type of thing, usually with a pot-luck and alcohol included. But it can be fun and it's something I fondly remember from my youth.

There is some preparation:

The fire:
A substantial fire ring is preferred. Started well in advance and made with hardwood. Always, and only hardwood. A fire must be made that will provide many long lasting coals. The fires I remember were made with apple wood.

TongueRULE: It might take an hour to cook one piece of bacon. Setting up the burn to get enough coals to last and timing the fire to be ready just when everyone else is ready is an art in itself.  No burning logs shall be allowed in the fire while cooking bacon. Just coals and lots of them. No wood shall be added while people are cooking bacon. If the fire isn't ready on time and makes everyone wait, or worse has been ready for any period of time before everyone is ready, or has too few coals, or for any reason doesn't last long enough and wood must be added during the cooking of bacon, then the fire maker must admit abject failure to all in attendance!

The forks:
You could use sticks, but as it takes such a long time to cook this you must use green and quite large diameter sticks. Metal forks were always used in my experiences. 

The bacon:
Slab bacon baby! Un-sliced and skin on. Don't skimp on this. The old folks would choose bacon for how much fat it had, NOT for how much meat it had in it.

The accompaniments in my experience:
Good bread is key. It has to be able to stand on its own and not fall apart if handled roughly. Chopped up vegetables - Polish dills, onions, green peppers and tomatoes.

NOTE: If you don't try this whole fire roasting thing, at least try the polish dill, onion and tomato combination on your next bacon sandwich. I think you might like it.

The procedure:
Everyone cuts their own bacon, cooks their own bacon and makes their own sandwich.

The old way would be to cut a piece of bacon about 3X4 or 4X5 inches leaving the skin on. Yeah, that's like almost a pound of bacon! Stabbed with a stick through and under the skin. The meat side would be scored maybe a 1/2" deep and in a cross-hatch pattern about 1/2"X1/2" square. The bacon would be set over the fire to roast the meat side SLOWLY. Meanwhile bread would be prepared. A nice thick slice would be handy and as the bacon began to drip the bread would constantly be doused with the dripping fat. Roasting and dripping, roasting and dripping. As the scored side rendered away, a layer would be cut off, new scoring would be performed an the dripping onto the bread would continue till the bread was literally soaked with lard. When the bread was properly soaked and enough bacon was on it the vegetables would be added per individual taste and another slice of bread on top, crack open a fresh cold beverage and you're stylin' like an old world Hunky. You might get two sandwiches from one piece of bacon.

The new way still uses slab bacon but with the skin cut off. Still scored, on both sides now, and still roasted slowly, but all the grease allowed to drip away into the fire. When the bacon is rendered to the cookers taste, the cooker chops the bacon up into bite size bits and builds a sandwich out of it using the vegetables as mention above.

TongueRULE: At NO time will any one put lettuce or mayo or mustard or (shudder) sweet pickle relish or anything else on the sandwich. Proper etiquette would require the host to invite the offender to leave immediately, and not come back with out more beer!

If anyone tries this, please post here.

Do it! You know you want to...

Hungry
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TasunkaWitko View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote TasunkaWitko Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 25 February 2010 at 20:11
yeah, i want to ~ Embarrassed
 
excellent post and it goes right along with what i have read. i may have a picture somewhere. will post of i do!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Guests Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 February 2010 at 04:09
oh gawd yes!! This is amazingly awesome and hunger inducing. I have a book on Hungary from the Culinaria series, and it describes the hungarian peasant tradition of a meal exactly like this, except they only use an onion for the vegetable. It has a nice picture of a grizzled old man, knife in hand slicing scored bacon and onion just like you described!  Very nice, I really should try this although the beautiful Mrs Rivet would shudder at the thought of bacon on a stick, especially with the rind on. The rind is the best part, I say!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Montana Maddness Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 February 2010 at 08:27
Awsome! Nothing tastes better than baconThumbs Up
Hotter the better bring on the peppers!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 February 2010 at 22:17
Well, thanks for the kind reception to this idea! I can assure you it is as awesome as it appears to be! But, I'm prejudiced...

If you can get some people together that will all willingly try it, I think you'll all be pleasantly surprised. It may just become a regular event. Maybe just once a year.

I don't think it's really as bad as it sounds. A serious BLT would probably be comparable. Would you eat a couple of BLT's for supper? I could do that. You don't have to buy the fattest bacon you can find or soak the bread in bacon drippings or cook enough for two sandwiches to get the feel of this.

Anyway, I mentioned the pot-luck part of this. That might be my next contribution.

And yeah, nothing would burn better than 4 pounds of bacon dripping fat into a very hot bed of coals! Folks gotta stay mind full of what is happening and what might happen, but it can be done safely. Can't cook this stuff like wienies and mushmello's.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Richtee Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 20 March 2010 at 08:10
We always put the chopped peppers, onions and whatever on before dripping the bacon fat... just salted after and chowed down.

We still do this once a year at a reunion...altho now, we have gone to chopping the bacon into cubes, and cooking in a cast iron gizmo...lid and long handles. Kinda like a waffle iron for a fire.

And of course, as the cubes cook out...add to the bread   :{)
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DIYASUB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 31 July 2013 at 16:19
There's an old saying on the internet that goes something like this, "This thread is worthless withou pictures!" but I have an app for that!

Here's the bacon laying on it's back to show how the cuts have been made. Some cuts are lengthwise and some are crosswise.


No stick for me! Thats a piece of stainless steel rod!


Two cuts are made in the skin and the skewer is in place.


Seeded rye bread.


Seeded Rye bread smothered with chopped onions.


Briquettes make heat, but it's the maple wood that'll be making the flavor.


The bacon is cooking and it's a thing of beauty!


The juices are flowing, and being blotted onto the bread.


The smoke in the drippings colors the onions and bread.


The cooked cubes of bacon are cut off and added to the bread.


All that needs to be done to make more is to deepen the cuts, skewer it, and head back outdoors before the fire goes out!


That concludes our tutorial pictorial. It'll be getting dark soon and that's the perfect time for sitting around a fire in the dark and cooking Hungarian bacon on a Stick, and thinking about how to solve problems big and small.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 01 August 2013 at 19:20
Well, there ya go.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote africanmeat Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 August 2013 at 01:08
O Boy O Boy it looks good wait  i am on my way..
.......
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      Wink







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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 02 August 2013 at 05:06
I definitely gotta try this!!!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 03 August 2013 at 21:44
Well, I did try it.  Damn this is tasty!!!!

I diced up some onions, tomatoes, peppers and cucumbers, placed them on a slice of nice 12 grain bread, and sat there over the fire with the bacon, and as it rendered I blotted the bread and veggies with the drippings. Slowly but surely the veggies and bread got infused with the drippings and a hint of smoke. As the bacon cooked I cut off the cooked bits and continued cooking, blotting, cooking, blotting...
Finally after about 45 mins it  was ready to eat. Anticipation was high, not knowing what to expect. 
What I found is that it's rich, because of the bacon & the fat, but it's light because of the raw veggies.

To reiterate my first thought.... Damn! It's tasty.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Effigy Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 August 2013 at 00:45
Heart attack on a plate!
I am so going to use this come October....
... I will be using a sword LOL
Looks the perfect thing to do at an outdoor medieval camp - and I like the idea of a sword like implement (skewer), its a bit like the roadside workers that would cook bacon and eggs on a shovel.
Soooo
Rod honey, (flutters eye lashes)
do you have any historic references for this?
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 August 2013 at 07:18
You folks are making this Franklin happy!

It's my feeling that the bacon used should be a slab of cured, fully cooked and smoked product. This isn't unusual for slab bacon found in Hungary, where people buy bacon and just slice it thinly and eat it unheated. I can get this kind of bacon here, but it's more likely what a person will find is slab bacon that is cured and smoked, but NOT cooked. This will work and I've roasted many hogs worth of this with fine results. So, make a few phone calls and you might be surprised what you can find.

As to the question about history, I can tell you my Hungarian family members have always done it and their recollections always include any ancestor they can recall as being one of their mentors. On a larger scale I had to do some half-assed research and I couldn't find a Wiki page about Hungarians cooking bacon on a stick. So, I looked at it a different way and looked at the histories of the ingredients. Specifically, domesticated pigs, pickles and onions. This research led me to believe that these things were introduced into the old country by the Romans, who picked up these things from their travels and conquests in the Middle East. Assuming bread in some form was already in Hungary and people have been cooking stuff over open fires for... well, forever, I'm going to, with much confidence, say that cooking bacon on a stick and making a sandwich of sorts from it has been around at least 1500 years.

Don't forget folks. Onions, tomatoes and dill pickles. Don't forget the dill pickles.

I'm sure the resident blacksmith can make you some proper forks. You can buy them too. They aren't specifically marketed as bacon forks, but might be called hot dog, or marshmallow or cooking forks. Just get ones with long handles and long tines on the fork part.

Have fun.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote AK1 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 August 2013 at 09:25
Hey, Rod, I just googled "Hungarian Bacon Sandwich" and found a few sites describing the process.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (1) Thanks(1)   Quote DIYASUB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 August 2013 at 18:22
Perhaps I can help a bit with the history.
As told to me by my grandparents, the horsemen who live on the eastern plains of Hungary are credited with great skill just as our American plains indians, South America's gauchos, and Russia's cossacks are.
It's a hard life, and they often stay out on the plains for extended periods of time with their herds.
They've been leading this lifestyle for centuries, and it's the sort of work that requires a high octane diet.
It's not too hard to imagine that before there was modern refridgeration and freeze drying, a slab of well cured bacon and a loaf of hard crusted rye bread, plus a few wild onions and some firewood could make for a pretty good meal while out on the trail.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Rod Franklin Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 04 August 2013 at 18:42
That sounds reasonable.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Percebes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 26 October 2014 at 23:24
I was talked into trying this by some Hungarian friends of my
Hungarian wife.
It shut down my digestive system for 4 days and induced internal organ pain for 6 months. Yet I can barely wait to try it again. lol
I am a wine enthusiast. The more wine I drink, the more enthusiastic I become.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote DIYASUB Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 October 2014 at 00:54
Percebes, an eminent Hungarian researcher (Me) has determined that the cholesterol found in szalonna acts as a lubricant for the joints and intestinal tract and is therefore beneficial.
Good food, good drink, good friends,Enjoy!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Percebes Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: 27 October 2014 at 08:32
I tease my Hungarian friend Attila about eating pure fat with no meat. I say. "Why you try kill me?"
He say " I not"
Then I say "Attila-you strong like bull and smart like tractor"
Then he smile and pour me a shot of Vilmos.
I am a wine enthusiast. The more wine I drink, the more enthusiastic I become.
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