March 21, 2023

Things to do with a pack of bacon mis-shapes

In my 20s I was vegetarian for nearly a year but a bacon sandwich, passed to me on a long distance walk through the night, was my downfall. I love bacon but I know a lot of it is not good for us as it has a lot of cholesterol in it, and it is a processed meat which have been shown to increase the risk of cancer. It is also expensive. Four or five times a year I will buy the packs of bacon mis-shapes to satisfy that bacon taste. I know that they are not the best quality bacon but they are cheap, versatile and can make a lot of meals for little money.

I buy mine from B&M or Poundland, but you can buy them everywhere. They are £1.29 at B&M where I picked one up recently , (one pictured), but are often quite lean and have a variety of thicknesses in them which makes them useful for different recipes. I search through the shelf for the best one and don’t buy them unless I see lean ones.  For me half the fun is not knowing how many thick or thin slices I am going to get, and adapting my meals and recipes to what I find. I always take some on holiday so that we can enjoy a bacon sandwich which is why I bought a pack last week.

Bacon freezes well for about 3 months and so I tend to split my pack and freeze some and keep some in the fridge. Here are some of the things we use it for. I will often get 6 to 8 meals from one of these big packs and use it for main meals, lunches and breakfasts. Sometimes it is the main ingredient but at other times it just adds flavour.

1. I add a few bits to bubble and squeak to use up left over mash and cabbage. Also using the residue bacon fat to cook these in adds taste.

2. Pigs in blankets. I only make these at Christmas now but my kids loved the bacon wrapped around the sausage when they were younger.

3.  Adding a few bits of cut up thicker bits to a pizza topping with pineapple.

4.  I use the cut up thicker bits in pasta with a white or cheese sauce.

5.  Bacon sandwiches with brown sauce.

6.  In mac and cheese to make it feel more luxurious.

7.  In a quiche.

8. With beans and cheese on a baked potato

9. BLT sandwich

10. Chicken and bacon wraps with salad (in a flour tortilla)

11. Egg and bacon wraps for breakfast (you only need a little bit of bacon).

12. Bacon and cheese wrap (like Mcdonalds). We crisp them up in the air fryer.

13. Egg and bacon pie

14. Elvis sandwich which is bacon, banana and peanut butter on white bread (Mr S loves Elvis but hates bananas and so won’t even try these). An American friend introduced me to these.

15.Bacon and beans with mash (I add chopped onion, a bit of tomato sauce, a bit of the chopped thicker bacon and a bit of paprika to half a tin of baked beans for the two of us.)

16.Roasted with vegetables in the oven (the taste seeps into the veg and I use the bits with more fat on.)

17. Bacon pancakes (cook the pancake in a pan tinged with the bacon grease, and scatter cooked bacon in the batter.  Sometimes I will put some bacon in a carbonara sauce and put inside pancakes and then crisp them up in the air fryer like those frozen ones you could buy in the 70s.

18. Chicken wrapped in bacon and baked (nice stuffed with cheese too)

19. Bacon wrapped around cubes of white fish on a skewer

20. Bacon wrapped around asparagus (good for streaky bits)

21. Cooked and baked in bread.

22. Cooked with sprouts

23. Bacon, cheese and apple toastie.

24. I add some chopped, cooked gammon bits, or some crispy thinner bits to salad.

25. Add crispy bits to cheese scone

26. Added to minestrone soup

27. To pad out chicken in a pie

28. Use in a bolognaise with lentils instead of mince

29. Eat as gammon with pineapple or egg

 

Some people use bacon in sweet dishes eg chocolate and bacon bark or chocolate and bacon brownies but I have never tried it.   The thing I have have found is that if you can only afford a few ingredients it does not mean that food has to be boring.  There are always lots of ways to add variety to your food. How do you like to use bacon?

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13 Comments

  1. Linda March 21, 2023 at 9:27 pm - Reply

    Here in the US the only cut of bacon sold is streaky which I find very greasy. I do miss back bacon and bacon misshapes! When I lived in the UK I used to make many meals from the packs of offcuts from Lidl, and found them to be be great quality and value. Bacon is so flavorful that a little goes a long way, and my favorite was rice, peas, tomatoes and bacon bits. My mouth is watering just thinking of it!

    • ToniG March 22, 2023 at 11:06 am - Reply

      Yes I have found in Europe a lot of the bacon is streaky too. That is a shame that you can’t get it. That meal sounds nice

  2. Bern March 22, 2023 at 11:14 am - Reply

    Thanks for the reminder, great ideas. I used to buy cooking bacon but got out of the habit. Will put it on my shopping list.

    • ToniG March 22, 2023 at 1:08 pm - Reply

      It hasn’t gone up much I have noticed as well. Glad I have reminded you

  3. Katie Naden March 23, 2023 at 9:06 pm - Reply

    Oh my Toni I think you are my bacon twin!
    I bought a massive pack from Home bargains which lasted us ages . Loving Elvis butty I’m def going to give that a go .
    I use it in my pea & ham soup .

    • ToniG March 25, 2023 at 8:23 am - Reply

      You can make so many meals from a pack, can’t you? I wish I like soup as it is such a cheap meal, but I bet that is nice

  4. Eleri March 31, 2023 at 8:01 am - Reply

    This reminded me of a really popular dish from my childhood – called Tatws Pum Munud in Welsh, meaning 5-minute Potatoes. Every household had their own version with additions according to what was available.

    I’m not sure why 5 minutes because it takes longer. Its basically onions fried with bits of bacon, layered in a shallow tin/dish with thin slices of potato, stock added then baked for about 20 minutes until the potatoes are cooked.
    My mum often made it in a pressure cooker for speed but that was more soupy. Either way the stock was mopped up with crusty bread.

    Very simple but so tasty 😋

    • ToniG April 1, 2023 at 11:46 am - Reply

      That sounds lovely. It is amazing what you can make with so few ingredients.

  5. Eleri March 31, 2023 at 11:17 am - Reply

    Lots of great ideas here too – thanks Toni x

  6. Catherine July 11, 2023 at 9:18 am - Reply

    Super ideas Toni … I’ve been using my slow cooker a lot recently normally a success most roasts/ joints etc however my misshapes from bnm ended up way too salty too eat do you think I should rinse them in water maybe first???

    • ToniG July 17, 2023 at 3:57 pm - Reply

      Hi. Sorry for the late reply. I have been away in the Shetlands. I have never found mine to be salty but I have soaked a gammon roast overnight to get rid of the saltiness before. I think it is the luck of the draw with the off cuts. I have had a lot of smoked ones recently which we love.

  7. Nelliegrace October 12, 2023 at 9:17 pm - Reply

    Asda or Sainsbury’s packs of cooking bacon are a staple. I use some fresh and freeze some portions. We are doing WW2 ration quantities again this year, and cooking from scratch, which saves a lot of money.
    We have a few chickens, and they earn their keep as we sell some surplus eggs to friends. I freeze some, lightly beaten, in individual pots, so we have enough in Winter when they lay fewer.
    Bacon and egg pie doesn’t need much bacon, and it is as good cold the next day.
    A little bit of bacon adds flavour to a lentil or split pea soup. Wartime recipes suggested using bacon rinds in soup.
    I am working through Marguerite Patten’s, book Basic Basics, Soup, for a challenge now the weather is getting colder. I used 2 ration points on a pack of Soup Mix, pulses and grains.
    I chop bacon into little pieces to cook and add to scrambled egg or mushrooms. A small amount looks more and adds flavour. I save any fat to fry onions or sauté vegetables.

    • ToniG October 19, 2023 at 5:41 pm - Reply

      I do similar to you as I used to have that book. I love reading old world war pamphlets with recipes in. A bit of bacon adds so much taste to anything, as does chorizo. Thanks for sharing

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