Perfectly Cooked Bacon and Eggs (with a Wine Pairing)
There are few better ways to start the morning than with bacon and eggs. Unfortunately, more often than not, cooking bacon can be a messy chore. Grease splatters all over your stove and it is a rare bacon aficionado without the scars of the pig on their hands, wrists, and forearms. Add in the fact that cooking bacon in a pan requires a lot of vigilance.
There is a way around the mess and the burned skin; cooking bacon in the oven. I tried this a few times over the years, and failed miserably every time. That is, until I learned the secret to this method. If you search the Web for ways to cook bacon, the oven method comes up over and over. However, almost every site gets it wrong and will set you up for failure. Here at Another Wine Blog we would never set you up for failure, especially not in the kitchen or the wine cellar.
Nearly every recipe out there reaches the fail state with the very first word of their instructions. As soon as they say ‘pre-heat’ they have tried to ruin your wonderfully cured and smoked swine flesh. The bastards!
The trick to cooking bacon this way is to place it into the oven BEFORE turning it on. Letting the bacon slowly come up to temperature and cook will give you perfectly cooked and perfectly flat strips. It lets the fat render without burning. No mess, no new scars, and no standing over a sputtering, spattering pan.
Here is how I do it. Find an oven-safe rack that fits inside of shallow-sided baking sheet. Lay out your strips evenly on the rack, place in a cold oven, and turn it up to 400° F. I set my timer for 10 minutes because my oven is an unevenly heating piece of crap. After 10 minutes I rotate the pan and check on it after another 10 minutes. Typically, it takes about 22-25 minutes total. If there is quite a bit of grease pooled on top of the slices I blot it up with a paper towel.
And what is bacon wiithout eggs? I love eggs cooked a lot of ways, but fried in probably my favorite style. Most people can fry an egg, but to make a perfectly cooked one requires basting, in my opinion. I love using olive oil as the basting fat, but if you have just cooked up a bunch of bacon that deliciously rendered piggy fat is hard to resist.
Basting eggs is incredibly simple. Heat up your fat in a good non-stick pan over medium heat. When it is good and hot, add your eggs. The eggs should start to sizzle right away. Grab a spoon and start splashing it over the top of the yolk until the top of the eggs starts to cook and the yolk takes on a pinkish color. Remove to the plate and season with a little salt and pepper.
Toast some good bread and you have a fantastic feast, right? Well, almost. Feasts require wine! Especially if this is your pre-church feast on a Sunday morning. Might as well fortify yourself before the preacher begs for your money and Mrs. Walker shames you into volunteering to deliver doilies to shut-ins.
But what works as a breakfast wine? First we want something that pairs well with the richness of egg yolks and bacon fat. That requires some acidity, which is why orange juice is such a popular accompaniment. As it is breakfast, and we don’t want to have to go right back to bed after we eat, low alcohol is probably a pretty good idea. And since having wine for breakfast is not an every day kind of thing, we want it to be fun.
One wine that fits the bill perfectly is Moscato di Asti. If you are not familiar with it, Moscato di Asti is a fruity, slightly sweet, fragrant, lightly sparkling wine. It has enough acid and bubbles to cut through the rich flavors of the meal, and its floral notes and peach or apricot flavors compliment the food perfectly.
Add a glass of that to your perfectly cooked bacon and eggs and now you have a feast. Add a few glasses of it and you may not remember that you told Mrs. Walker that you would even help make the doilies for shut-ins. Sounds like a win/win situation to me.