Beautiful bacon and magical mince are a perfect pairing on your barbecue this summer, whether they are paired together on a burger or you wrap your mince in a tasty bacon weave.
Bacon & BBQ
Most barbecue recipes, and all bacon weaves, call for american style streaky bacon. Which, if you are in North America is very easy to come by and affordable. In Australia this is not so much the case. When you do find the uniform streaky bacon you are looking for you usually have to think about selling the naming rights of your first born to afford it. My work around for this is to visit my local butcher and buy their long bacon rashers - I then remove the eye to save as short cut bacon for breakfast and trim up the tail to be nice and uniform.
The Bacon Weave
This is key for a good barbecue meatloaf - keeps your mince together and offers extra fat to render and keep the meat moist.
My two tips for a good bacon weave are
- use bacon strips that are as uniform as possible - trim them if needed, to make them easier to work with
- make the weave on foil to make it easier to roll up the meat when it comes time.
For step by step instructions head over to Steve Raichlen's Barbecue Bible
Mince (ground meat) & BBQ
When shopping for mince for the barbecue, be mindful of the fat content required for your method. If you are making hot & fast burgers then 10-20% fat will work, so your premium minces will be fine. For low & slow barbecuing with mince you'll want fat content of >20% at least, but 30% seems to work the best for us. If you aren't sure what you are looking at, speak to your local butcher.
Mince should always be cooked to 160f/71c (medium-well) to make sure contaminants are got rid of. Other tips for safe working with mince are:
- buy your meat freshly ground from your butcher, or chose a cut and ask them to grind it while you wait if they offer that service.
- keep it refrigerated until cooking time
- wash your cutting board and prep surfaces with very hot soapy water and use a surface sanitizer
The proof of this pairing pudding will be in the eating. Give these a try