Wednesday, June 29, 2011

For Bacon Lovers: Wild Boar BLT

This sandwich is all about an explosion of flavors on your tongue. This is not about fueling or throwing together a quick BLT on the fly. This sandwich is a labor of love that will require you to take some time to do it right. And when you do, you will experience a BLT like nothing you have ever had before. You can't buy this experience must create it yourself.

The steps to create this sandwich are not difficult. They just take time. But the ingredients to this sandwich are critical. Accordingly, we will take a few minutes to talk ingredients before we get down to it.

The heart of this sandwich is the wild boar bacon. I've discussed this in earlier posts. Modern agriculture has graced us with the most extraordinary bacon on the planet: wild boar bacon. The taste of this bacon is like nothing else you have ever experienced. Rich. Incredible depth. A texture that is crisp and creamy at the same time. I get my wild boar bacon from Buffalo Gal ( Their wild boar are raised cage-free in straw beds. No factory operation here: they are pastured and ranch raised.

When you cook your wild boar bacon, you are going to roast it, not fry it. Roasting gives the bacon a deep, carmelized flavor and does not render as much fat as frying. That fat gives the sandwich additional flavor and moisture.

The choice of bread is critical for two reasons. The first is taste. The bread is the containment device for this sandwich, but it must do much more than that. The right bread can boost the flavor, and therefore, your enjoyment of this sandwich. So pick a rich, flavorful bread. One of my favorites is marbled rye (pictured above). Regular rye, sourdough, nine-grain....they all work as long as they are delicious. Once you choose your bread, you are going to toast it, as toasting further boosts flavor (thank you, Maillard reaction) and firms up the bread to hold all of these wonderful ingredients together.

The second critical thing about the bread is the size. If your bread is too big, it's going to overwhelm the sandwich and minimize the incredible flavors. You'll miss the whole "BLT" part. You want just enough bread to hold everything together and complement the main ingredients. Given that each sandwich is going to get less than a quarter pound of bacon each, the perfect size for each slice of bread is approximately 4 1/2" X 4 1/2" X 1/2". Now that is an approximation, but you should come as close to that as you can. If you are using bread that has a really large loaf size (like sourdough), just make 4 half-sandwiches.

In a perfect world, you'd have homegrown tomatoes. On June 29th in Minnesota, that is so far removed from reality that it can't even be a wish. And truth be told, most of us do not have regular access to homegrown tomatoes. What is available in the stores just won't cut it.....unless.....

Unless you use time and heat to create the most remarkable concentration of tomato goodness you have ever tasted. The way to this goodness is called "slow roasting". I combed the Internet to look at different ways of doing this and found one method that looked best. I tested it and it worked like a charm!

This slow-roasted tomato recipe is courtesy of Ashley Rodriguez, an incredibly talented food blogger whose site,, is one of my favorites (her food photography is jaw-dropping). Basically you are going to take store bought Roma tomatoes, slice them 1/4" thick, drizzle them with olive oil, sprinkle them with salt and slow roast them at 225 degrees for four hours. I can't even begin to describe the end result, but when you taste it, it will be an entirely new tomato experience for you. Just unbelievable.

6-8 large Roma tomatoes, cut in 1/4" slices
Garlic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Kosher salt
1 pound wild boar bacon
8 small, pale green Romaine leaves (from the Romaine heart)
8 slices of your favorite bread


  1. Preheat oven to 225 degrees. Line jelly pan with non-stick foil. Place sliced tomatoes on foil. Drizzle each tomato with a few drops of garlic extra virgin olive oil and sprinkle with a little Kosher salt. Place jelly pan on middle rack of oven. Roast for 4 hours.
  2. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line jelly pan with non-stick foil. Place sliced bacon strips on foil and place jelly pan on middle rack of oven. Roast for 12 minutes. After bacon is cooked, use tongs to place bacon on a paper towel to drain.
  3. Toast bread slices.
  4. Assemble sandwiches. Place one slice of toasted bread on plate. Place a quarter of the wild boar bacon on top of bread slice (where it will be close to your tongue when you bite into it). Place 4-6 roasted tomato slices on top of wild boar bacon. Place 2 green Romaine leaves on top of tomatoes and top with the other piece of toasted bread. Slice and serve.
Wine pairing: Pinot Noir

Note 1 : My favorite non-stick foil is Reynolds. Make sure the dull side faces up.

Note 2: Many BLT recipes call for mayo. I hate mayo. I would put Preparation H on my sandwich before I would use mayo. However, I do recognize there are mayo lovers out there. Ashley's Basil Mayo recipe calls for 1/2 cup mayo and 3 tablespoons of chopped basil. Simply stir the two together and spread on the toast before sandwich assembly.

No comments:

Post a Comment