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The Breakfast Bacon Explosion

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I Ate Oklahoma is brought to you in part by:

#PigOutOKC is brought to you by the Oklahoma Pork Council. Twice a month we’ll be delving into restaurants and recipes that bring home the bacon (among other delicious cuts of pork). Experiencing your own pork-fueled adventure? Use the hashtag #PigOutOKC to let the rest of us in on the fun.

Because I’m tired of hearing people complain about having to read an essay before getting to the recipe, here’s a recipe for the Breakfast Bacon Explosion, followed by an essay:

Ingredients:

2 lbs. thick-cut bacon

2 lbs. breakfast sausage

6 eggs, whisked into oblivion and heavily seasoned

3 green onions, roots removed, chopped medium-fine

½ cup grated cheese

Instructions:

  1. Put down a layer of cling wrap. Create a bacon weave by laying seven strips of bacon side by side, then using a second seven strips of bacon to weave, over-under, the first seven strips.
  2. Preheat oven to 300-degrees Fahrenheit.
  3. Cook remaining bacon to your ideal degree of doneness, then crumble or chop.
  4. Remove all but 1 Tbsp of bacon grease from pan and add in chopped green onions. Fry over low heat for a few minutes, until softened, and add in eggs. Stir eggs and green onions together slowly until soft scrambled. Remove from pan.
  5. Open the packages of breakfast sausage and press into an even layer on top of the bacon weave, leaving about an inch of bacon visible on all sides. Cover sausage in even layer of grated cheese.
  6. At the end of the weave closest to you, pile a line of crumbled cooked bacon on top of the sausage, followed by the cooked egg-and-green-onion mixture.
  7. Using the plastic wrap under the bacon weave, lift the edge closest to you and begin to roll the Bacon Explosion forward, trapping the cooked eggs and bacon inside the uncooked breakfast sausage. Wrap the bacon weave around the sides and edges of the breakfast sausage roll until full encased in bacon.
  8. Place the Breakfast Bacon Explosion seam-down on a baking rack on top of a sheet pan/jelly roll pan and place in the center of the oven. Roast for two hours or until a meat thermometer pushed into the center of the roll reads 165-degrees Fahrenheit.
  9. Remove from the oven and let sit for five minutes on a cutting board. Cut into slices.
  10. (Optional) In a non-stick skillet over medium-high heat, sear any under-cooked bacon and both sides of the Breakfast Bacon Explosion slices until browned. Be careful not to let the slices unravel.

Now for the boring essay you couldn’t wait to skip.

I think bacon is good. Great even. But I also wish people would chill all the way out for a minute on bacon. As I learned from a children’s cartoon I was watching with my kids, “Big City Greens,” sometimes what makes a dish special is that you don’t always get it.

Bacon, which I think many of us consider wonderful, used to be special. Bacon was a breakfast item that was used sparingly throughout the day. Maybe a BLT for lunch once in a while. Maybe wrapped around a filet for dinner every other month.

But bacon is so everywhere right now that I can’t barely stand it. When McDonald’s is serving bacon and “cheese” on its fries, you know the world’s gone topsy turvy. What’s next, McBorscht?

Oh, I wasn’t expecting questions. Uh...you in the back?

“So why are you making the Bacon Explosion if you hate bacon so much?”

Well, I don’t hate bacon. Not at all. That was like the second thing I said. But I do wish it was more of a special treat.

“Does that mean the Bacon Explosion is meant as a ‘special treat’?”

Of course. While some of the previous #PigOutOKC recipes (pork stew, carnitas, Creole pork chops) are in the regular rotation at my house, Bacon Explosion is going to make a few sporadic appearances. For one thing, it’s a lot of work. For another, it’s so rich that eating this regularly would have a detrimental effect on my ability to enjoy other foods or move my body without the use of a Rascal Mobility Scooter.

“This recipe is different from some of the others I’ve seen.”

That’s not a question.

“Okay, smartass, why did you change the recipe? Are you some kind of culinary genius?”

First of all, drop the attitude. Secondly, I changed it because I think barbecue sauce is okay in small doses, but too much will completely obscure the flavor of meat. Since this thing is 90 percent meat, and I want to taste it, I switched up the recipe a little, ya jag.

Bacon and sausage work so well with eggs that combining them into a Breakfast Bacon Explosion seemed like a no-brainer. And as someone with a very small brain, that appealed to me.

(Note from my mom: Maybe do more eggs and less sausage? This is a lot of meat. Like...a lot a lot.)

Honestly, once you get the basics done, there’s no reason you can’t experiment and make the Bacon Explosion your own. Bacon weave? Check. But do you have to add crumbled bacon to the center? No. Breakfast sausage is great, but what about Italian sausage or chorizo or meatloaf mix? Hate eggs? Take them out. Work sauteed onions and garlic into the mix. Or don’t! I don’t actually care!

The main thing I want you to do is learn that changing things up is fun. Making a recipe your own is empowering. Once you know you can adjust things based on your tastes, the sky’s the limit. Suddenly, cooking is a fun adventure instead of a slog toward a “perfect” dish that is only perfect to whoever created the recipe in the first place.

The Oklahoma Pork Council represents the interests all of pork producers throughout the state, promoting pork and pork products, funding research and educating consumers and producers about the pork industry. Learn more about the OPC, find recipes and more at OKPork.org.

About the Author

Founder and Eater-in-Chief of I Ate Oklahoma, Greg Elwell has been reviewing restaurants and writing about Oklahoma’s food culture for more than a decade. Where a normal person orders one meal, this guy gets three. He is almost certainly going to die young and those who love him most are fairly ambivalent about it. You can email Greg at greg@iateoklahoma.com.

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