Ode to Bacon Drippings from Rebecca Lang’s AROUND THE SOUTHERN TABLE

Prep Time: 30
Total Time: 30

Listen to the interview.

“On my grandmother counter sat a small metal can that sole purpose was containing the all-important Southern liquid gold. Inside the can were pure glorified bacon drippings. The can stayed far from the fridge and flavored many recipes each day. Bacon was on the stove most mornings before the sun came up. This always left flavorful drippings for cooking later. The drippings were spooned out of the can for everything from making cornbread and biscuits to greasing skillets.

Saving the drippings after cooking bacon has always been an ideal example of reusing and recycling ingredients. It was during the time when nothing in the kitchen was wasted that cans were found on counters and on the back of stoves all over the South. Bacon drippings were an easy and inexpensive replacement for oil and butter and were close at hand for cooking quickly. For most cooks, the drippings were replenished about as fast as they were used.

In many ways, bacon drippings are priceless. They can’t be purchased in the grocery store or found in fancy markets. They can only be collected after cooking a batch of the South’s signature meat. Take a moment and receive the extraordinary gift in the bottom of the skillet.”

© 2013 Oxmoor House and Rebecca Lang

Reprinted with Permission

Directions

Double BLTs

For a new twist on the Southern lunchtime favorite, turn your BLT into a double-decker. Top-quality bacon and heirloom tomatoes make it a real luxury high-rise.

1. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium-low heat 12 minutes or until crisp. Remove bacon, and drain on paper towels, reserving drippings in skillet. Cut each slice in half crosswise.

2. Cook onion slices in hot drippings over medium heat 4 minutes on each side or until browned.

3. Spread 1 side of each bread slice with mayonnaise. Layer 4 bread slices, mayonnaise sides up evenly, with half of tomato slices and all of bacon. Top with 4 bread slices, mayonnaise sides up; layer with lettuce, onion, and remaining half of tomato slices. Top with remaining 4 bread slices, mayonnaise sides down. Secure with wooden picks, and cut in half.


Yield: 4 servings

What's Needed:

 

4 thick-cut bacon slices (about 1?2 lb.)

1 large onion, cut into 1?2-inch-thick slices

12 thin sourdough bread slices

2?3 cup mayonnaise

2 lb. tomatoes, sliced

4 green leaf lettuce leaves

Wooden picks

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