Nitrate Free Bacon & Sausage…

Breakfast meats 028We all love bacon, and most people enjoy sausage.  We’ve known for some time that processed meats are not good for us, right?  They are now saying conclusively that processed meats cause cancer.  What?  A world without bacon?  Sausage?  I immediately thought of Whole Foods.  I know that they are very particular about what is sold in their stores.  They are environmentally conscious and they have a five step Animal Welfare Rating program that is followed to assure that animals are properly raised and treated.  Here they are:

  1.  No crates, cages or crowding.
  2.  Enriched environment.
  3.  Enhanced outdoor access.
  4. Pasture centered.
  5. Animal centered, all physical alterations prohibited, 5+ Entire life on the same farm.  No hormones or antibiotic enhancements.  Antibiotics are needed in crowded environments where they can easily become ill due to the conditions.  Hormones are given to bulk the animal up much quicker.

The ingredient list:
Breakfast meats 006Raw Pork Breakfast Sausage–made in house.
Pork, brown sugar, sea salt, red pepper, black pepper, parsley, sage, canola oil, lamb casing.

The best way to cook breakfast sausage is on the stovetop in a pan large enough to accommodate without crowding.

Breakfast meats 012You’ll want to cook it slow, over low heat with enough water to cover the bottom of the pan.  Cover with a lid and let it steam for about 4-5 minutes.

Breakfast meats 026Remove the lid and allow the water to evaporate, still over low heat.  Once you start to hear them sizzle, watch them closely, give them one turn when golden brown.

Black Forest Bacon, United States
Pork, raw sugar, malted barley, sea salt, yeast, extract, spices. No nitrates added except for those naturally occurring in ingredients such as celery, juice powder, parsley, cherry powder, beet powder, spinach, sea salt.

Breakfast meats 018

Bacon especially goes a long way in terms of flavor, especially THIS bacon!  I don’t think I have ever tasted a more delicious piece of bacon.  The bacon is coated with a dry rub which caramelizes when you cook it.  Great to crisp up and cut into small pieces as a condiment for salads or great to throw into scrambled eggs so you have great flavor without going overboard with portion size.  Try when making my pan roasted brussel sprouts.  Serving a crowd?  Cut the pieces in half before cooking as they are long, thick slices.

The best way to cook bacon is in the oven, you get beautifully cooked flat pieces.  Spread over a non-stick foil lined baking sheet with sides without crowding.

Breakfast meats 013

You can see here that I didn’t have enough bacon to fill the pan so I curled the edges of the foil up to prevent excess spattering in the oven.  Easy clean up, let it cool and fold it up and toss, or you could wipe it clean with a paper towel and recycle it.    A full sheet of bacon should take approximately 15-20 minutes.  My four pieces of bacon took about 16 minutes.

You may wonder about the cost.  Consider the importance to consume breakfast meats in moderation.  Even though they are nitrate free, this is still what I would consider a treat.  Two pieces of bacon or two pieces of sausage per serving.  That being said, you can ask the butcher to package exactly what is needed for your crowd.  When you buy the 1 lb. packages there are far more servings than needed.  Quality versus Quantity.  The bacon was $9.99/lb.  I bought 4 slices, it came out to $2.80 or  $.70/slice.  Oscar Mayer bacon is typically around $7/lb. and the slices are super thin and sometimes tricky to pull apart.

The sausage was $6.99/lb. and I bought 12 pieces, which came out to exactly $6.99.  The links are larger than say a Bob Evan’s sausage link, which I think are about one ounce links.

Thanks for reading, have a great, healthy day!

Angie

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