Eons ago (OK it was last September, so nearly a year, then) I reviewed a book called Fat, by Jennifer McLagan. It's a very thought-provoking book to say the least, and after reading I decided to become a hoarder of fat.
When I say "hoarder of fat" I mean that in the mildest of ways. I skimmed all the beef fat off of my braised beef ribs to use in McLagan's cornish pasty recipe, wrapping it well after letting it solidify, and then freezing it. It's still there. I also started collecting my bacon fat whenever I cooked bacon. Because I don't eat that much bacon, and I tend to buy leaner bacon to begin with, it took me just over 11 months to save up the 1/2 cup of bacon fat required for McLagan's Bacon Mayonnaise recipe found on page 101. I kept the fat in a small ramekin, covered at all times, in my fridge. I finally, finally had half a cup last week.
Here is the recipe.
Bacon Mayonnaise, from Fat by Jennifer McLagan, page 101
1 egg yolk
3/4 tsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp freshly squeezed lemon juice
Sea salt & freshly ground pepper, to taste
1/2 cup liquid bacon fat
Combine egg yolk, mustard, & lemon juice in small bowl of a food processr or blender and process to mix. Season with salt & pepper.
Have the bacon fat liquid but not hot. With the machine running, gradually add bacon fat until the mixture starts to stiffen & emulsify, about 2 minutes. Once it begins to emulsify, add the fat more quickly. Adjust seasoning. If it's too thick, thin with 1 tsp of boiling water.
I have a small food processor but even so, the yolk/mustard/lemon juice mixture was too small an amount to properly mix in the food processor. I ended up having to whisk everything in a bowl by hand after the first ingredients kind of stuck to the bottom of the food processor bowl.
Here is the finished product:
It tasted...OK. Not overpoweringly of bacon, surprisingly. In fact, it was a tad bland. To test it out, I put in on a great burger I made, served with grilled veggies.
It actually complemented the burger a lot, lending it a bacony flavour and an extra juiciness to the meat, since the mayo basically melted when it came into contact with the hot burger. Will this replace Hellmann's for me? No way. I can't see this being as versatile as Hellmann's and it just isn't the same. But it was a good experiement.
No, no more bacon fat hoarding!