Monday, October 27, 2014

Paleo Diet: Bacon Mayo

The weather has been so lovely that I haven’t wanted to spend more time indoors than I have to, so it has not been a week for adventurous cooking.  I’ve been subsisting on cold roast chicken and the apple/leek casserole that I’ve already covered.

But you can’t eat chicken at every meal, and I had some shrimp and veggies to use up, so I made a shrimp salad. Nothing terribly exciting, just a way of using veggies before they go bad, and I normally wouldn’t bother you with it. But shrimp salad usually has mayonnaise in it. I didn’t have any, and my paleo cookbook has a recipe for baconnaise – i.e. mayonnaise made with bacon fat.

Now, before you shudder and click away, remember that the classical version of mayonnaise is an emulsion of olive oil (fat), egg yolks, and lemon juice. Using bacon fat (which you have thriftily saved after cooking your bacon) is just replacing one fat with another.

And mayo is one of those things that is very easy to make. All it takes is one bowl and a whisk. Or in my case – a stick blender with a  whisk attachment.

I forgot to take pictures while I was making it, but it goes from being bright yellow runny goo (the egg yolks) to pale yellow and creamy. Flavor-wise, it’s not all that different from store bought mayo, the lemon is more forward, because I like lemon and added extra. The biggest difference is that when you refrigerate it, it goes hard, like butter. (That’s animal fats for you.)

Anyway, when I tried it on the shrimp salad, I made sure I added it to the shrimp when they were still hot, so the baconnaise would melt and coat the salad. 

Final verdict, not bad. But more of a science project than a recipe. Given a choice, I'd use olive oil and save the bacon fat for frying eggs. 


from the cookbook Practical Paleo

2 egg yolks
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
1 teaspoon dijon mustard
3/4 cup bacon fat, melted and cooled to room temperature

In a medium sized mixing bowl, whisk together the egg yolks, lemon juice and mustard until blended and bright yellow. Add 1/4 cup of bacon fat to the yolk mixture, a few drops at a time, whisking constantly. Gradually add the remaining bacon fat in a slow stream, whisking constantly, until the mayonnaise is thick and light in color. 

Keeps for about a week.

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