At this point, if you follow our blog, there's a very good chance that you've already heard quite a bit about Beyond Bacon, either from us or from any number of other Paleo bloggers out there. You might even be asking yourself, "What's the point of another review on Beyond Bacon?" Well the point of this review is not just to tell you how amazing this book is, from it's gorgeous cover to each and every recipe, photo and charming story, but to tell you why, in our opinion, this is one of the most strategic and smart book purchases that you can make.
There's that old adage, "give a man a fish and he'll eat for a day; teach a man to fish and he'll eat for a lifetime." At it's core, this is what makes Beyond Bacon a 'must-have' book for anyone and everyone who cares to eat, live and cook better. You see...any cookbook in the store can tell you how to make XYZ recipe by blindly following steps 1,2,3 etc etc, and that's great. But at the end of the day, you won't know any more about cooking than you did before, or in other words, you'll 'eat for a day.'
Where Beyond Bacon really shines is in how it makes everything so incredibly accessible by breaking some of the more daunting parts of working with pork down into simple, easily followed processes. And by doing so in such a beautiful format, with gorgeous photos, appealingly clean graphic design and helpful hints scattered all throughout, you'll hardly even realize that you're "learning" anything. Instead you'll simply enjoy slowing down and embracing the wide-eyed wonder of cooking and discovering new flavors and dishes that you never imagined that you'd be cooking in your own home.
For this review, we chose to try out the Bacon Jam recipe. In part because we loved the idea and couldn't wait to taste it, but also, Ben just really loves the phrase "Bacon Jam", and wanted to give that one a shot……
Anyway, the recipe was clear, easy to understand, and fun to put together. In the end, the Jam was rich, savory and amazing, but believe it or not, the most enjoyable part of making this for our family was the process. See, we love when cooking draws our family together and there is nothing we enjoy quite as much as waiting together as something cooks down slowly and fills our house with the savory aroma of things anticipated. Somehow it just slows life down and reminds us of how we really want things to be; family gathered around to share in the joy of something special, having waited in eager anticipation and finally, with great satisfaction, celebrating the fruits of our patience. That's what cooking is all about for us. That's what Beyond Bacon offers it's readers. It's life as you want it to be, waiting on you to pause and give it a chance to bloom.
We know you're going to enjoy it as much as we are.
(We enjoyed our bacon jam with one of our favorite hash recipes, which is given below.)
Jenni & Ben
Green Apples & Ham, Butternut Squash Hash
Paleo, Grain/Gluten/Dairy Free
Serves 2-4 depending if it's a side or full meal
1 Medium sized Butternut Squash, peeled and cubed
2 Granny Smith apples or other tart apple
1 cup cubed smoked ham
1/4 cup chopped fresh green onions (or chives)
1 1/2 teaspoons Italian seasoning
Sea salt and cracked pepper to taste
2-3 tablespoons of bacon fat or preferred cooking oil
Garnish with Paleo Parents Bacon Jam from their book, Beyond Bacon (Get it HERE)
Preheat the oven on a high broil.
Prepare and chop your ingredients then set aside.
On two cookies sheets, spread out the butternut squash cubes evenly. Place them under the broiler for about 5 min or until they just start to turn brown on the edges. Remove from oven (YES you could skip this step and just fry the squash directly in the pan. However this method gives a great texture and quick pan cooking time to the hash. This first step can also be done ahead of time and stored for a quick hash.
Preheat a skillet over medium high heat. Add the fat to the pan then add the butternut squash, ham and apples. Fry till the apples are just cooked through.
Just before serving, toss in the chopped green onions and and seasoning then salt and pepper to taste.
Cook for a few minutes longer to let the flavors bloom a bit, then serve and garnish with some lovely bacon jam.