This caterpillar of meat, known as Bacon Explosion or Bacon Bomb, is just pork meatloaf wrapped in bacon. Regular beef meatloaf is so tame compared to the Bacon Explosion.
I wanted to make devils on horseback for Christmas dinner but when my son Ming asked if I've heard of bacon weave before (I hadn't), I googled it and that led me to Bacon Explosion, a long roll of pork sausage meat with fried bacon bits covered with a mat of weaved bacon, bbqued until it's smokey and crisp and glazed with a sweet sauce. The original Explosion was created by the bloggers here and was said to contain at least 5000 calories. I have made a less sinful version, cutting back on the amount of bacon and fat used but still, do proceed with caution.
Because bacon is expensive here, I didn't want to use any more bacon than necessary so I didn't have crispy bacon in the meat filling. We can't get fresh sausage meat here and I had to make my own. I had a packet of chorizo sausages from Australia (thanks, Liz) that was close to the used-by date so they were chopped up, fried and mixed into the sausage meat for extra flavor.
The Bacon Explosion for Christmas dinner was so good that it went quickly, leaving me scavenging just the bacon bits and dried cranberries I had used for garnish. I intended to post the recipe after making another Explosion this weekend but after several requests for the recipe, including from W in Canada who I just spoke to this evening, I am posting the recipe today for those who want to make one for New Year's Eve dinner. I am waiting for a photo of the cut Explosion taken by a friend (I was too busy to take photos) and I'll upload it later.
If fresh pork sausage meat is available where you are, you can use that instead of making your own. You can also substitute the chorizo with bacon, pepperoni or whatever you like. In the original recipe, the Bacon Explosion is smoked-bbqued and glazed but I find it easier to cook it in the oven. I also don't like my bacon fully crisp so the oven is a better place to cook the roll. If you want a glaze, just make your own or use bottled bbq sauce mixed with some honey or maple syrup. Serve the Bacon Explosion with a crisp salad and some mash and say hello to your triple chin.
Note: I made a second BE a week later and the result wasn't as good as the first one. I've thought about it and think these are the reasons:
1. The local chorizos were not as tasty or maybe it was because I used only 2 instead of 4 chorizos. Advice: Use tasty chorizos.
2. I got the bacon from the same supermarket but noticed that the bacon was in narrower strips and tasted different. Advice: Keep to good fresh thick-cut Aussie bacon.
3. I took the short cut of having the butcher mill-grind the pork for me but the mince was too coarse. Machine-ground pork is too pasty. Chopping by hand gives a fine mince that's just nice.
4. I didn't cook the roll until the bacon was browned enough because I needed the oven for baking bread. The BE should be baked until the bacon is browned and quite crispy.
5. I used Hunt's hickory bbq sauce to glaze and I think that really spoilt the taste. My advice is to skip the bbq sauce.
Weave the bacon strips on a piece of firm plastic. You can sprinkle some bbq seasoning or dry rub on the bacon mat if like. I didn't.
It is easier to pat the sausage meat into a long log on a prepared tray and then slap the bacon mat on top than put the sausage meat on top of the bacon mat and roll.
Weave the bacon mat on a piece of plastic for easier lifting of the mat and slap the mat on the sausage roll. Tuck the ends under the roll.
Make sure the weaving is tidy and snug.
My Bacon Explosion
The sausage meat:
1.5 kg pork shoulder, with at least 20% fat
4 chorizo sausages (about 400 gm)
3/4 t salt (or reduce slightly)
3/4 T ground sage
3/4 t thyme
1/4 t ground ginger
1/2 t nutmeg
1/4 t white pepper
1/8 ts cayenne pepper
1/4 cup water or 1 egg, beaten
1 1/2 slices of day-old bread, cut into 1/2 cm cubes
For the bacon weave:
About 800 gm to 1 kg of thick-cut streaky bacon (do not use the thin-cut Danish bacon)
Optional: bbq seasoning/dry rub
1. Chop or coarse-grind the pork. Cut the chorizo into small pea-sized cubes and fry them in a frying pan without oil. Remove when the chorizo are golden brown. Cool.
2. Mix the fried chorizo and all the other sausage meat ingredients until well-blended, cover and leave in the fridge for at least half an hour to firm up.
3. Meanwhile, weave the bacon criss-cross into a mat. You'll need two or three large bacon mats. Arrange the bacon 'mats' on a baking tray lined with aluminium foil. You can sprinkle the bacon with your favorite bbq seasoning/dry rub for extra flavor.
4. Pat the sausage meat into a long roll on the weaved bacon. Roll the sausage with the weaved bacon mats firmly and snugly. Or, the easier way is to weave the bacon on a piece of plastic for support, lift the plastic up with the bacon mat and drape over the sausage roll. Re-arrange and tidy up the weave, making sure the bacon strips are woven closely. Tuck the edges under. Make sure the ends of the roll are covered and the seams of the mats are at the bottom on the tray. You can spread some bbq seasoning on the roll if like. Chill the roll in the fridge while the oven heats up.
5. Preheat oven at 200 C and put in the bacon roll. Bake 1 1/2 hours uncovered. Check on the roll now and then to make sure that it is not burnt. At the end of cooking, glaze with a bbq sauce if like.