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Ontario, Canada
I am a wife, mother and grandma who enjoys the many aspects of homemaking. A variety of interests and hobbies combined with travel keep me active. They reflect the importance of family, friends, home and good food.
Cook ingredients that you are used to cooking by other techniques, such as fish, chicken, or hamburgers. In other words be comfortable with the ingredients you are using.
--Bobby Flay

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Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Baked Peameal Bacon & Peameal Bacon Casserole

Peameal bacon is one of our favourite cured meats. I learned to make it using pork loin a few years ago. It is an inexpensive, low fat meat ideal for most meals and because it cooks quickly when sliced makes for a quick meal as well. Once cured the peameal bacon can be sliced and fried or left as is and baked. It can also be frozen. The instructions for curing peameal bacon can be found in an earlier entry here.

Peameal Bacon Roast

Last Saturday I pulled a peameal bacon unsliced roast from the freezer for brunch. Peameal bacon can be cut into thick slices or left as a roast for baking. Since the roast was frozen the easiest solution was to bake unsliced. The nice thing about baking peameal bacon is no additional fat is needed. I simply pour a half cup of water into the baking pan, place the roast in and bake at 350ºF without even thawing. Timing will depend on the size of the roast. This roast almost filled a 9" x 9" baking pan. It took about 50 minutes to cook. The roast was then sliced into thick slices for serving.

I really want to stress the low fat aspect of this meat. Unlike regular bacon, peameal bacon has very little fat. When baked, no added fat is needed either. It is a filling meat so you eat less as well. Peameal bacon is higher in sodium content than other meats but given the smaller servings I think it still is a frugal, healthy choice for meat.

Peameal Bacon Casserole

Peameal bacon can be used as an ingredient for other dishes. There was enough peameal bacon left over from the roast for an impromptu casserole. The casserole was based on the way I make scalloped potatoes but with a little cheese added. Potatoes are currently selling for $7.99 for 50 lbs so I'm working my way through the first bag. As far as a budget stretching, inexpensive meal this casserole can't be beat. The most expensive ingredient is the cheese and that could easily be omitted. I used mozzarella cheese but a sharp, extra old cheese likely would have been a better choice. A nice dash of fresh chopped chives would have looked quite nice as well for a garnish. I had thought I would have left-overs for the following day's lunch but apparently my husband and son thought it made a good late night snack!

Peameal Bacon Casserole

8 potatoes, peeled and sliced thinly
2 c milk, scalded
½ spanish onion, chopped
2 - 3 c peameal bacon cut into bite sized pieces
1 c unbleached flour
1 c shredded mozzarella cheese
sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
olive oil

Wash and peel the potatoes. Slice thinly with a mandolin then soak in salt water to prevent browning. Pour a small amount of olive oil onto the bottom of a casserole pan. Brush to spread. Dice the peameal bacon and layer on the bottom of the casserole pan in a single layer.
Spread a thin layer of cheese topped with a sprinkling of flour, chopped onions, salt and pepper with about 3 small pats of butter. Continue layering in this fashion until the casserole pan is filled with the final layer being cheese. Heat the milk until scalded. Pour the hot milk into the casserole pan. Bake uncovered at 350ºF oven until the potatoes are cooked and the top is golden brown. Remove from the oven and let rest 5 minutes before cutting into squares.

My notes: This would make a complete and frugal meal with the addition of a thin layer of corn niblets and a tossed salad.

4 food lovers commented:

Elizabeth said...

I was googling for an interesting pea meal bacon recipe, to have with scalloped potatoes and I found you and this recipe. Sometimes the planets just align, don't they?

Anonymous said...

you don't have to show this, Did I miss reading 'potatoes' in the layering process? I know one can assume, but a novice cook would wonder where the potatoes are to be added.... :) I make my scalloped potatoes this way all the time but with out the peameal bacon.

Lynn said...

Im trying this tomorrow

Brittany Simpson said...

You said you used left over roast, so is it safe to assume I should cook my pemeal before adding to the casserole?