Monday, July 18, 2011


6 slices of bacon
1/2 cup brown sugar, lightly packed
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped coarsely
pinch of kosher salt
pinch of freshly cracked pepper
1/2 cup orange juice
12 oz. fresh cranberries
1 tablespoon tawny port

Cut the bacon up into a fairly small pieces. Add the bacon to a medium-size saucepan. Set on the stove over medium-high heat. Cook for a few minutes, stirring occasionally. If it starts to burn or smoke, turn your heat down. Your goal is to brown and crisp the bacon. When your bacon is crisp, turn the heat off. Drain off most of the rendered bacon fat, leaving just a teaspoon or two in the pan with the bacon. Save the fat (let it cool, then cover it and stick it in the fridge). Put your pan back on the stove over low heat. Add the brown sugar to the bacon and fat in the pan. Toss in the rosemary, kosher salt, and freshly cracked black pepper. Stir your pot to combine the ingredients well. Break up any lumps of brown sugar against the side of the pot with the back of your spoon. Don’t fret if anything is sticking to the bottom of your pot. Your heat is on low, so it shouldn’t burn. And you’re going to deglaze the pot next. Pour in the orange juice. Watch your face and hands, as the pot may give off a big poof of steam, depending on how hot it is. Stir well, scraping at the bottom of the pot with a wooden spoon to loosen any browned bits. Raise the heat to medium-high so your mixture can start to come up to a simmer. Add the cranberries to the pot. Cranberries freeze really well and can go straight from freezer to pot for this recipe. Give the pot a good stir to combine everything. Add the port. Stir to combine. Cook over medium-high heat until the mixture comes up to a simmer. When it does, turn the heat down a little and cover the pot tightly. Simmer covered for about 5 minutes. Keep an eye on your pot. If it starts to bubble over, turn the heat down a little. After 5 minutes, uncover the pot. Stir the mixture. As you stir, smoosh the cranberries against the side of the pot to pop them. Keep the heat on medium as you do this. It will cook as you stir, evaporating some of the liquid and thickening your chutney. It should be really thick at this point. If you have liquid left in the pot, cook over medium heat for a minute or two more, stirring constantly to evaporate it. Turn the heat off and transfer the chutney to a bowl to cool. When it’s totally cool, cover and stick it in the fridge. The chutney will keep in the fridge for about 3 days.

bacon recipe courtesy of: Jessica B. Konopa, The Hungry Mouse, Salem, Massachusetts, December 11, 2008

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