Men, this one is for you. No doubt it's important to know how to properly cook Swiss chard, and who can refuse a homemade oatmeal cookie?! But let’s face it: we know what you really want. Bacon. Lots of bacon. Bacon with sausage. Lots of sausage.
This is the Bacon Explosion. We made it, ate it, and lived to tell about it.
We deviated somewhat from the original Bacon Explosion recipe, so here’s our take on it. This is what you’ll need:
• 2 lbs of sliced bacon (2 packages)
• 2 lbs of sweet Italian ground sausage (you can take the meat out of the casing by hand if you can only find links. If you do this, press the loose sausage together meat in a bowl before using)
• ½ a pepper, chopped (we used green, but you can use any color)
• ½ a medium onion, chopped
• 5 or 6 white mushrooms, sliced
• Barbecue rub
• Barbecue sauce
Step 1. Fry up one pound of bacon in a frying pan, as crispy as you like. Once it has cooled, break it into small pieces with your fingers. This is part of the filling.
Step 2. Sauté the pepper, onion, and mushrooms until soft and the onion is translucent. For added deliciousness, you can do this in the leftover bacon fat.
Step 3. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees (the original recipe calls for it to be smoked. We don’t have a smoker, but baking it worked pretty well. If you choose to smoke it, you’re on your own).
Step 4. Weave the remaining pound of uncooked bacon: place several slices down side-by-side, touching. We used 6, but the width of your bacon may differ. Starting at the bottom, weave one slice of bacon at a time across the slices you already laid down. Do this until you have created a bacon mat.
Step 5. Admire your work. Who says men can’t weave?! If you have extra bacon after making your mat, lay them on top of the weave. Who says you can't have extra bacon?!
Step 6. Press the ground sausage over the bacon mat evenly.
Step 7. Spread the sautéed veggies and bacon pieces evenly over the sausage (unfortunately, this is when you have to stop munching on the cooked bacon pieces, since they’ve now touched the raw sausage).
Step 8. Drizzle barbecue sauce and sprinkle the rub over the veggies and bacon.
Step 9. Roll just the sausage, veggies and bacon from the bottom to the top of the mat, separating from the mat as you go. This will form a nice big sausage log.
Step 10. Roll the sausage log and the bacon mat towards you, covering the sausage with the bacon mat. Be sure to press the bacon mat into the sausage, getting any air bubbles out. Your bacon explosion has been constructed and now it’s time for cooking.
Step 11. Place your Bacon Explosion in the oven on a baking sheet, covered in aluminum foil. We used a slotted sheet placed over a deeper sheet to catch the drippings. Bake covered for an hour, then removed the cover and bake for another hour and a half or so. When the internal temperature reaches 175 degrees, remove it from the oven. Slice, slather with barbecue sauce, and enjoy. Don’t make plans for the rest of the day. Tomorrow, plan to shop for larger clothes. This might not be your last bacon explosion.