If you’re a fancy gourmet person, you know the term, “umami.” It means the fifth taste (after sweet, bitter, sour and salty). Fish sauce has it. Soy sauce has it. Parmesan cheese has it. A little dash of any one of those can give a dish that certain something that turns it from good to great.
BUT. I’m not quite sure why bacon grease isn’t on that list. Maybe because the folks who made up those lists of what has umami and what doesn’t never kept a jar of bacon grease by the stove. Actually, I don’t keep one by the stove. I’m a modern Southern woman. I keep it in a pimento jar in the refrigerator. Sausage grease works just as well. One of the great gourmet treats, in my opinion, is to make cream gravy, chop up some cooked sausage and add it in, and then POUR the sausage grease into the gravy.
Bacon grease has infinite uses. You can use it instead of butter when making a roux, especially for the aforementioned cream gravy. It’s also good for a gumbo roux (OK, roux = 1 part fat, 1 part flour and enough milk to make it into a sauce). And, of course, is a spinach salad worth eating without warm bacon dressing? If you think it is, you’ve never had a spinach salad with warm bacon dressing.
So, tonight I’m making breakfast for supper. It’s one of my favorite meals, particularly when Noah has his boy friends over because they eat like hogs at a trough. Breakfast for supper is a cheap way to feed them. And one of the things I made were home fries. I cheated with the potatoes. I used those already-chopped-up-kind out of a bag because I have another project to cook everything in my freezer and that bag had been there since March. But I added chopped yellow pepper, chopped onion, and one of my favorite BBQ rubs. You let the ‘taters saute in vegetable oil until they’re three fourth’s done and then you add just a tablespoon or so of bacon grease. The grease makes the potatoes even browner, the peppers more golden and it leaves that ring of grease around your mouth that there’s really no substitute for.
Bacon grease. It’s what’s for supper. Or breakfast. Or both.