Saturday, March 16, 2013

in praise of bibs and bobs

Bibs and bobs, a.k.a. bits and bobs or odds and sods, is a British slang expression meaning this and that, for miscellaneous bits and pieces of something or other. The expression seems especially apropos when it comes to bacon.

I didn't realize, until just last week, that people sold bacon scraps at the store with a straight face. I saw a three-pound package of the stuff at Wal-mart several days ago, hefted it, noticed the unit price, and tossed it into my basket.

Haven't looked back since. I am now a convert to bacon scraps. The per-ounce price for these torn-up chunks of pig flesh is fully half that of regular bacon, and when you open the package, you see right away that the contents are, lo and behold, perfectly good bacon. The fat content might be slightly higher, but when you're starting with a three-pound package, you're not losing that much in fat runoff.

You can make perfectly crispy bacon out of these scraps. It's easy: just set your oven to broil, dump the bacon scraps into a broiler pan, spread the meat out as far and as thinly as possible, broil for ten minutes (time will vary depending on how close your pan is to the broiler; mine's not that close), drain the fat, flip the meat, then broil another seven minutes. The result? Crispy bits of bacon, along with well-cooked chunks of meaty (not fatty!) pork belly. Absolutely delish, and ready to be cut up with meat scissors into little bits (bibs and bobs!) for sprinkling onto salads, pasta, or whatever.

Now that I know about bacon scraps, I no longer see any reason to buy regular bacon ever again. Same meat for half the price? Oh, hell, yeah!


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