I'm a pork nut. If it comes from the pig, I'm always ready to cook with it. I was making some ribs, and wanted to make a really sweet and saucy sauce with a little zing at the end. I was drawn to the idea of candied bacon, which I always wanted to try. "What pairs with bacon you might ask??", Bourbon. Friggin' Kentucky Bourbon! I added some spice to the candied bacon, and that imparts on the sauce as you make it. Fantastic with pork or chicken.
Start by making the candied bacon!
Trust me, you'll want to double this recipe, but you only need four slices for the BBQ sauce.
- 3 Tbls firmly packed brown sugar
- 1/4 tsp aleppo pepper
- 1/4 tsp cayenne
- 1/4 tsp paprika
- 4 slices thick cut bacon
Preheat the oven to 400º.
Place a cookie rack on a sheet pan, and place the bacon strips lengthwise on top of the rack. Place in the oven and bake for 10 min. Using tongs, flip the bacon over and genourously sprinkle the brown sugar/spice mixture to evenly coat each slice, only on one side.
Continue to bake for 10-15 minutes more until well rendered. Let the slices rest on parchment paper until cool. They should be very rigid and crisp.
Next, make the BBQ Sauce:
- 1 cup Kentucky Bourbon
- 1 cup Heinz ketchup
- 1 cup apple cider vinegar
- 3/4 cup brown sugar
- 1/2 cup white onion, finely minced
- 2 Tbls Worcestershire sauce
- 1 1/2 Tbls Tabasco
- 1/2 tsp ground mustard
- 1/2 tsp fresh ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp liquid smoke
- 4 slices candied bacon, finely minced (Recipe above)
Place all ingredients EXCEPT the bacon, in a saucepan over medium-high heat and stir well. Bring to a boil, and simmer for 10 min., stirring frequently. Add in the minced bacon, and continue to cook for another 10 min. Sauce is ready when it coats the back of a spoon. Let rest and serve at room temperature.
The sauce should keep well in lidded jars, for several weeks in the fridge.