Fat Washing

Yeah, I said it, what you got a problem with that? I’m into fat washing!

So the other day I played with the concept of fat washing. What the hell is fat washing!? That’s what I said at first, and it wasn’t some weird nakedness-with-a-hose-and-sandwich type of internet thing either. It has to do with infusing a liquor with the essence of a fat. OK, it’s still weird. So why the heck was I playing with the concept of fat washing? Well, to experiment with the idea of a Bacon Beer, why else!

So for my fat washing experiment Robert and I decided on making Bacon Bourbon, think it sounds good, yeah me too. So we needed bacon and bourbon. Robert supplied the bourbon with some 100 proof Old Grand-dad (yowsa!) and Booth’s Corner Farmers Marker supplied the bacon. We decided on two different bacons just to see if there was a difference, so we got approx a 1/3 of a pound of Pepper Hickory Bacon (HICK) and Double Smoked Bacon (DBL). We really had no idea what the ratio of fat to liquor should be, so we decided on amounts we could handle eating and drinking so there was no waste. So first of all the HICK bacon was cooked off and the liquid fat was poured into three ounces of bourbon. We didn’t want to pour in all the lovely bacon bits so we poured the fat through a coffee filter in a funnel, it worked perfectly. We then mixed this up and let it begin to settle, which is about the time-frame of when the picture above was taken. At first it looked like salad dressing, and I think it would make a good base for a salad dressing with a salad with spinach, hard boiled eggs, blue cheese crumbles, craisins, and steak – sign me up. Then we cleaned things up and proceeded with the DBL bacon in the same manor. After both bourbons were bacon infused we moved them to the freezer to help speed the solidifying process.

While the fat was setting up we ate almost all of the bacon, of course, until we got towards the end and decided we should chocolate-dip some of the bacon! So I grabbed some dark chocolate I was recently given and set up a quick double boiler, melted about eight pieces of chocolate and then dipped about eight pieces of bacon, while of course burning the piss out of my fingers with the chocolate. I then laid the chocolate dipped bacon on a Corian cutting board and placed it in the fridge to set up. We figured in a couple hours (two episodes of Lost to be precise) we’d have fat washed bacon bourbon and dark chocolate dipped bacon, sounds like bacon heaven.

After the bourbons came out of the freezer they had a very solid fat layer on top a little greater than half an inch thick, and it was fully separated from the bourbon. Next we had to figure out how to get the bourbon from under the fat. We tried two different methods. Robert went with the knife around the edge of the glass and try to pop the “fat puck” from the top of the bourbon. I went with the take a straw and pop a hole through the fat and then pour the bourbon through the whole. They both worked in their own way, but the pop-and-pour method worked better. After either method of trying to pop the fat puck or the pop and pour method we wound up partially breaking the fat so that there were fat floaties in the bourbon. So it was back to the coffee filter and funnel technique, and again it worked perfectly. After both bourbons were poured off the fat and poured through the coffee filter there was perfectly clean and clear bourbon for the sampling.

We had no idea what we were getting into so there was a lot of excitment/anticipation. Would it smell of bacon, taste of bacon, would it be greasy, would it be any good? These were all questions in our mind. And the answers, well, I was impressed. You could catch smoke in the nose, and bacon in the flavor, it was mild and slightly hammy, there was no grease or slickness at all, and yeah, it was good! I actually thought the fat washing took the bite away from the 100 proof bourbon, but that could have been from numbed taste buds from an afternoon of bacon and plain bourbon too. But overall I would call it a success and would highly consider doing it again. This time we weren’t thinking and threw out the fat, next time I’m going to reserve that stuff and cook something with it, like beans, and see if the fat absorbed any bourbon notes. Also, while enjoying our fat washed bacon bourbon it was time for the dark chocolate dipped bacon. And it was incredible too! Seriously, if you like bacon and chocolate you gotta try it. I think it would be amazing crumbled and put either in ice cream or cookies instead of chocolate chips. Robert even liked it and he’s not a big chocolate fan, but it did inspire us to next time try peanut butter dipped bacon, whoa.

Overall it was a silly afternoon with a high success rate. If anyone else tries to experiment please let me know. Now remember it has to be done with a fat that will solidify, like bacon fat or butter, not olive oil. Anyone up for a real Buttered Spiced Rum? Sounds like another afternoon to me! Oh and about the Bacon Beer … not sure if this was enough to convince me, but maybe a Bacon Washed Bourbon Beer, maybe.

One Response to “Fat Washing”

  1. Fine Food Says:

    thanks for that

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