I re-introduced everyone to Julie Rokala in opening her guest post on Wright’s Barbecue, and mentioned how much I liked the bacon grease salad dressing for the salad she brought to our Memorial Day celebration last year. It was a big hit.
Julie’s salad isn’t shown. I just like the picture. The use of bacon grease in salad dressing piqued a lot of interest, as well as requests for the recipe. Julie graciously agreed to share it, and here it is.
Cook 1 lb bacon, reserve bacon grease, keeping it in the pan in which you prepared the bacon.
Remove bacon – set aside
Add the following to the warm (not hot) pan with bacon grease:
3/4 C White Vinegar
1/2 C Sugar
Whisk to combine
Salt and Pepper to taste
**Crumble bacon on salad.
**Salad dressing can be saved and warmed for future use. Sometimes I halve this recipe for a smaller salad.
I don’t have to tell you that you cook the bacon in a cast iron pan, do I? Good. Now, I would go ahead and eat some of the reserved bacon. It’s right there, throwing out alluring glances, and a whole pound of bacon is a lot to put on a salad, especially bacon that’s metaphorically batting its eyelashes at you.
This dressing is usually used over spinach, and counters the astringency of the spinach. It goes with any greens, however. Sometimes people add some Dijon mustard or, better, some chopped red onion. You also can go crazy and add some just-scrambled eggs divided into strips — eggs that were lightly scrambled in the film of bacon grease left in the pan — and toss them into the salad. That’s an idea I got from Frank Stitt, who the James Beard folks decided runs the best restaurant in the United States, the Highland Grill in Birmingham.
If you ever, ever have any bacon grease left over, be sure to save it — just pour it out of that cast iron pan. Bacon grease has a host of wonderful uses discussed here and at the included links. There is also advice on storage. Revel in its possibilities. Remember, a bacon’s grease is a terrible thing to waste.
And while you’re at it, click “follow” on our front page to receive blog posts in your email box. Or bookmark us and check in from time to time. If you’re planning a trip, you can “Search” the name of the destination city, state, or country for good restaurants (in Europe, often close to sites, like the Louvre or the Van Gogh Museum, that you’ll want to visit in any event). And stick around for news, all manner of recipes, hotels, and the occasional book or movie review and fine arts and architecture commentary. Comments, questions, and suggestions of places to eat or stories to cover are very welcome. And check out our Instagram page, johntannerbbq.