What Are Bacon Lardons
Bacon lardons are made from pork belly, thin strips cooked until they are crispy golden brown on the outside, and commonly used as a flavoring or seasoning ingredient in many dishes. They can be made from either pork belly or fastback, and cut the bacon into small rectangular strips before being cooked.
Lardons have a long history dating back to the Middle Ages when they were first mentioned in French cookbooks. Today, smoked bacon lardons are popular in many different cuisines around the world and are used to add flavor to a variety of dishes.
The lardon can be made from either slab bacon or pork belly and are typically ¼ inch thick.
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Why You Should Be Cooking with Bacon Lardons
Bacon lardons, also known as bacon cubes or bacon bits, add a delicious smoky flavor to any dish. They're easy to cook with and can be added as a topping or cooked into dishes like salads, plates of pasta, quiches, and more.
Lardons are usually made from smoked cured pork from the pork belly, which means they have a high fat content that adds even more flavor when cooked. In addition to their tasty flavor, bacon lardons offer a substantial amount of protein and can help add texture to your dishes.
Noted, because they are so fatty, bacon lardons can cause dishes to become greasy. It is important to drain the pork fat from the lardons before adding them to your dish. Additionally, bacon lardons will shrink when they are cooked, so it is important to allow for this when you are adding them to a recipe.
Choosing Bacon Lardons
When it comes to choosing bacon lardons, there are a few different factors to consider. They can be found at most grocery stores, but the quality can vary greatly. It is important to choose a brand that has been cured properly, and that has been smoked or cooked correctly. Additionally, you will want to choose bacon lardons that are the right size for your dish. Smaller lardons will add flavor without overpowering your dish, while larger lardons can be cut into smaller pieces if desired.
Regional Variations of Bacon Lardons
- In the US, lardons are often used in dishes like Caesar salads or as part of a breakfast side.
- In the UK, lardons are often used in dishes like bangers and mash or as part of a full English breakfast.
- In Spain, lardons are often used in dishes like tapas or as part of a paella.
- In Italy, lardons are often used in dishes like carbonara or as part of an antipasto.
How To Use Bacon Lardons?
Bacon lardons are considered french cuisine and made from thick cut pork belly. Then cut into small pieces of bacon that are typically used to add flavor to dishes. They can be used in salads, stews, omelets, and quiche. To use bacon lardons, cook them until they are crisp and add them to your dish.
What Do Bacon Lardons Taste Like?
Bacon lardons have a smoky, salty flavor that pairs well with many dishes. They can be used as a flavor enhancer in many recipes or as a standalone dish. Bacon lardons are also a good source of protein and fat, making them a filling and satisfying food.
How To Make Lardons
When it comes to making bacon lardons, a few different methods can be used. The most common method is to cure the pork belly or fastback in a salt and sugar mixture, which helps to preserve the meat and give it flavor. After curing, the bacon is typically smoked or cooked in a smoker using medium heat. Once it is fully cooked, the bacon lardons can be used in any dish you desire.
Cook the lardon in cast iron skillet for even cooking heat on medium heat.
If you want perfect lardons or bacon bits, don't let the heat get too high, and be sure to take them out before they get crisp. The difference between lardons allows the little matchsticks to have a bit of a meaty texture.
Cook Bacon Lardons In The Oven
It takes around 20-30 minutes to cook in an oven, depending on the thickness of the sliced bacon and how crispy you want it to be. Bake using a cast iron skillet with an oven temperature of 325.
To ensure even cooking, flip the lardons over several times throughout the cooking time. Once cooked, move the cooked lardons to a paper towel to drain off excess fat.
The value of using this method is the even surrounding heat.
Considering the size of the lardons, being concerned with proper cooking interior temperature will not be an issue. If you would like to read more about UDSA Pork Standards
What is Larding?
Larding is a technique used to add moisture and flavor to the meat. Lard, or bacon fat, is often used for landing, but other types of fat can also be used. Larding involves running a piece of fat through the meat, which helps keep the meat moist and juicy. Larding also adds flavor to the meat, making it more flavorful and tender.
How to Cure Bacon
Bacon is cured by soaking it in a brine (salt water) solution, which helps to preserve the meat and prevent it from going bad. After the bacon has been cured, it is then smoked, which gives it its distinctive flavor. There are many ways to cure lardons, and each method will produce a slightly different flavor.
- Wet curing: This method involves soaking the pork belly in a brine solution for several days.
- Dry curing: This method involves rubbing the pork belly with a mixture of salt, sugar, and spices. The bacon is then left to cure for several weeks.
- Smoking: Gives it a distinct flavor and helps preserve the meat. Bacon can be smoked using several different methods, including cold smoking, hot smoking, and using a smoker.
Storage and Reheating
Bacon lardons can be stored in the fridge for up to a week or in the freezer for up to six months. To reheat, cook the bacon lardons in a pan over medium heat until they are heated.