If your family needs a new twist on the regular beef dinner, try pairing it with bacon. Beef and bacon are two of America's favorite foods, so it's no surprise to find them used together in many dishes. Although their flavors are very different, beef and bacon complement each other well and are a versatile pairing, found in meals ranging from a simple hamburger to famous French dishes.
Sandwiches make a quick and easy meal, with the addition of a soup or fresh salad with creamy dressing. A few strips of crisp bacon can bring new life to old favorites, like a roast beef sandwich. Slice your roast beef thinly and pile it on a kaiser roll with mild horseradish mayonnaise and strips of bacon. Add bacon to a Philly cheese steak to make it even tastier. Bacon can also be added to a steak sandwich, along with sauteed mushrooms and onions.
Adding bacon to a cheeseburger is a no-brainer, but it will also enhance a number of other dishes made from ground beef. Wrap meatballs in half-strips of bacon, for example, and serve them as appetizers at your next gathering. Crumble cooked bacon into the raw beef mixture for hamburger patties or meatballs, to add a textural contrast and bacon flavor. Alternatively, mince uncooked bacon and add it to lean ground beef for meatloaf or meatballs. Pork fat is less saturated than beef fat and cooks out at a lower temperature, leaving a healthier meatloaf.
Steaks and Roasts
Bacon is often used to wrap medallions of beef tenderloin, usually referred to as filet mignon. The same technique can be used with medallions formed from less exalted cuts, such as the sirloin. During barbecue season, wrap cubes of beef in bacon before skewering and grilling them. Wrapping a beef roast in bacon is a good technique to use with lean cuts from the round, or similar portions. The bacon adds flavor, and helps protect the roast from drying out.
Many beef recipes begin by cooking onions, celery and other flavoring ingredients until they are softened. Add another layer of flavor to the dish by dicing a slice or two of bacon and adding it to the onions. This is especially good when you're browning beef to make pasta sauce, because bacon goes very well with tomatoes. Bacon also works well as an addition to beef stroganoff, because it complements the sour cream's richness. Strips of bacon are even used in the classic French dish beef bourguignon.
- "On Food and Cooking: The Science and Lore of the Kitchen"; Harold S. McGee; 2004
- "Professional Cooking"; Wayne Gisslen; 2003
- Fine Cooking; Master Class: Beef Bourguignon; Madeline Kamman; February 2000
- Epicurious; Pepper-Crusted Beef, Bacon, and Arugula Sandwiches with Spicy Mustard; January 2006
- Food Network; Philly Cheese Steak; Bobby Flay
- BBC Food; Spaghetti Bolognese; Antony Worrall Thompson
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