This meaty breakfast recipe isn’t for the faint of heart, but sometimes, that’s what you need to kickstart a weekend morning.
The gravy alone calls for more than half a pound of meat, and that’s before bacon even enters the picture. “Hog: Proper Pork Recipes from the Snout to the Squeak” author Richard Turner says that you can always just make the country-fried bacon without the gravy if you want to serve it alongside pancakes or waffles.
Country-Fried Bacon with Sausage and Onion Gravy
1 egg, beaten
1 cup buttermilk
10-12 strips smoked bacon
1 cup all-purpose flour
A pinch of dried oregano
A pinch of dried sage
A pinch of dried basil
A pinch of dried marjoram
A pinch of chili powder
A pinch of freshly ground black pepper
1/4 tsp. smoked paprika
1/4 tsp. dried garlic
1/4 tsp. dried onion
A pinch of salt
Vegetable oil, for frying
For the sausage and onion gravy:
2 tsp. butter
2 2/3 cups onions, sliced
Scant 1 cup hard cider, divided
10 1/2 oz. pork sausage, broken into small chunks
2 cups beef or pork broth
Scant 1 cup heavy cream
Combine the egg and buttermilk in a large bowl. Soak the bacon in this mixture. Blend the flour with all the herbs and spices and flavorings to a fine sandy mixture and set aside.
To make the gravy: Put the butter and onions into a large saucepan over low heat and let sweat for about 20-25 minutes, or until caramelized and golden in color. Add half the hard cider and continue to sweat until the onions start to darken a little more, then add the remaining cider and reduce down.
Add the sausage to the pan and continue sweating down. Add the broth and continue to cook until reduced by half. Add the heavy cream and cook at a bare simmer for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat but keep warm until needed.
Remove the bacon from the buttermilk and roll in the seasoned flour until completely covered.
Heat the oil to 400 degrees in a deep-fat fryer or a large heavy saucepan. Use tongs to carefully lower 5 pieces of the bacon into the hot oil, then fry for 5 minutes until golden brown and thoroughly cooked. Transfer the bacon to a plate lined with paper towels. Repeat with the remaining 5 pieces of bacon.
Serve with the gravy on the side for dipping. Serves 6 to 8.
— From “Hog: Proper Pork Recipes from the Snout to the Squeak” by Richard Turner (Mitchell Beazley, $34.99)