Pedro Avila, chef of David Burke Prime in Mashantucket, CT, slowly bakes thick-cut bacon, bastes it with syrup, and slides each strip onto a skewer. The bacon achieves a melt-in-your-mouth texture, while developing a smoky, sweet, and spicy kick from the maple-and-black pepper glaze. These slabs of bacon are usually offered as an appetizer—served hanging from a clothesline—at most Craveable Hospitality Group restaurants, but Avila sets this bacon recipe apart by presenting it on a stick with a cherry-bourbon barbecue sauce. Rushing the cooking process at a higher temperature thwarts the deep, luscious caramelization, but the total amount of time should not exceed 1 hour and 30 minutes.
David Burke Prime’s Candied Bacon Lollipops
Smoked Cherry-Bourbon BBQ Sauce
3 cups 100% maple syrup
Juice of half a lemon
2 tablespoons coarsely ground black pepper
1 teaspoon mustard powder
½ tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 slab bacon
3 tablespoons butter
1 yellow onion, chopped
1 garlic clove, minced
1 cup tomato sauce
½ cup ketchup
¼ cup cider vinegar
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon dry mustard
⅛ teaspoon cayenne pepper
3 cups pitted dark sweet cherries, ¼ cup separated
½ teaspoon liquid smoke, optional
Salt and black pepper to taste
How to Make It
Combine all ingredients except the bacon in a pot. Cook over low heat until reduced by 20 percent.
In a pan, melt the butter until bubbling. Add chopped sweet onion and cook until soft. Add garlic until soft and butter begins to brown. Add canned tomato sauce, ketchup, mustard powder, lemon juice, cider vinegar, Worcestershire sauce. Mix all ingredients together.
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