Butter-Seared Bacon with Mashed Potato and Maple Gravy

Words: Dwight Co/Styling and Photography: Mylene Chung/August 27, 2012

3845 21

This piece of meat we have here is what Santi’s sells as “picnic bacon.” Oblivious to this cut of meat, I inquired about the nature of this light pink pork belly. Sadly, the staff couldn’t give me an answer I was happy with, so I went over to my better teacher, Wikipedia and did a search.

Best friend Wiks tells me that “Picnic bacon is from the picnic cut, which includes the shoulder beneath the blade. It is fairly lean, but tougher than most pork cuts.” Forgive me, but isn’t this pork belly? Apart from that, after hurling these beautiful pink babies in my mouth cut after cut, I realized that these were neither lean nor tough. (Anybody with an answer?)

But it doesn’t matter. What you want to know about is not what that is, but what it tastes like.

Let’s put it this way. Bacon isn’t exactly meat—it’s fat-flavored salty crackers that goes well with eggs. Along with bacon in the hierarchy of legit meats are several other pseudo-meats including corned beef, spam and tocino.

So, if bacon isn’t meat, what is? Steak. True meat pilgrims will always search for an inch-thick, bloody cut of fatty ribeye because nothing will replace that experience of slicing it open and welcoming it with a wet, carnivorous chomp. This piece of meat has all the desirable traits of bacon plus a very important extra: a steak-like bite. It’s a legitimate cross between the two.

Like manong’s fishballs whose origins are mysterious (and questionable) you don’t really need to know what exactly you’re eating to enjoy it. This might not be true picnic bacon, but it’ll show you the true path to pork enlightenment.

Butter-Seared Thick Bacon with Mashed Potato and Maple Gravy

Yield: 2-3 servings


  • 1 pack picnic bacon (from Santi’s)
  • 1/4 cup cream
  • 1/4 cup maple syrup
  • 6 shallots
  • Butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • For the mashed potatoes, try our previous recipe.

Procedure for the Bacon

  1. Pat dry bacon with paper towel.
  2. Melt and heat some butter over the pan just enough to fully pan-fry each side.
  3. Place bacon on pan and let it sear for a few minutes. Flip to brown both sides.
  4. Slice into bite-sized cuts and serve.

Procedure for the Maple Gravy

  1. Heat a little butter over a saucepan.
  2. Add maple syrup, cream and shallots.
  3. Add a dash of salt and pepper.

Dwight Co

Managing Director/Founder

When he was nine, Dwight stormed the kitchen and proudly cooked himself his first dish, Spam and eggs. Realizing his immense talent for cooking canned food, he co-founded Pepper.ph in 2012. Aside from directing Pepper.ph's content and design, Dwight also makes websites and runs a tiny ramen house in Burgos Circle called Wrong Ramen. See More.

  • http://curiousweekends.blogspot.com/ Leah

    I just … I just want to eat my monitor now. =_=

    • sandy

      i wanna eat my monitor too *____*

      • http://curiousweekends.blogspot.com/ Leah

        too bad we can’t, no? x_x

  • jax


  • http://80breakfasts.blogspot.com/ joey

    10 million times yes to this!!

    • pepperph

      10 million times try it out and tell us how your hospital visit–I mean, your wonderful gastronomic experience goes! 😀

  • Kyameel

    This… This is just… I want one now.

    • pepperph

      Make itttt 😀 And post about it to us hehe

  • kitkat

    stomach grumbles…..

    • pepperph

      Feeeeddd ittttt with thiiiissss! It wants you toooooo 😀

  • http://twitter.com/dixiechikcooks Dixie Chik


    • pepperph

      In the best way possible 😀

  • Katherine

    maple syrup on mash taters / this is the most luscious decadence since mayo made with butter

    • pepperph

      Right?! Omnomnomnom all the way!

  • http://twitter.com/kegstrife7 Egay

    Arrgh! My stomach is angry!

    • pepperph

      You must appease it with this recipe! 😀

  • http://www.facebook.com/psychoCOW Benjamin Canapi

    That looks like Liempo! Either way, still awesome!

    • http://twitter.com/katherinejao Katherine Jao

      It is made from liempo, transformed into bacon. :)

  • Mercedes Romualdez

    Oh wow. Will I risk another hospital visit to have a taste of this?! YESSSSSSSSSS!

    • http://www.facebook.com/people/Den-Alibudbud/520953364 Den Alibudbud

      LOL! just one bite for you then 😉

  • dk

    where can i buy maple syrup? :)