Our friends Scott and Charlie invited us to join them and some other friends at their cabin in West Virginia this past weekend. We jumped at the chance to head to the country, unplug and spend a few days with friends.
Little did we know that a culinary adventure also awaited us in wild, wonderful West Virginia.
You see, our friend Charlie had a dream--a dream of hope, of peace and of multiple types of cured pork products.
His dream? To make the Bacon Explosion.
You may have read about the Bacon Explosion, invented by BBQAddicts.com. It's been lauded as "the BBQ Sausage Recipe of All Recipes" and has been much discussed online. The recipe was even featured in the New York Times earlier this year.
It's not for the faint of heart. (If you don't believe us, just check out the "bacon weave" in Step 1.) And, oddly, it's one of those rare recipes that actually appears less and less appetizing the closer it gets to being done.
But we're getting ahead of ourselves. Come join us, won't you, on a voyage to pork nirvana.
Start by weaving a mat with a pound of bacon. Charlie gets an "A" for his expert handiwork.
After the weave is complete, season the bacon with a BBQ rub. Charlie's partial to the spice mix from the Dizzy Pig in Fairfax, Va. You can order from their site or use your own favorite BBQ mix (or make one yourself).
Add a pound of sausage to the top, flattening it into a layer that covers the bacon mat.
Then, crumble another pound of bacon (cooked and chopped) over the sausage.
THEN throw on some BBQ sauce.
Roll up the sausage, leaving the bacon mat on the foil.
At this point you have a log of meat resembling a meatloaf.
And then you roll it back, encasing the sausage roll in the bacon mat.
The whole thing then goes on the grill, where it cooks over low heat for an extended period of time. The recipe suggests an hour for each inch of thickness.
Oh don't worry -- we also grilled some asparagus to go with the Explosion. (Though, in truth, we ended up wrapping the spears in prosciutto.)
And then, as if all of this hadn't been enough, we slathered it in MORE barbecue sauce and ate it on buttery, flaky biscuits.
So the real question: How does the Bacon Explosion taste?
If you like bacon and barbecue, it's delicious. It's like a very smoky meatloaf, or rather, a meatloaf that can't be bothered with any "filler" like onions or--heaven forbid--other vegetables.
If you don't like bacon and sausage, well, you're out of luck here.
There were eight of us for dinner that night, which means we each ingested a half-pound of Bacon Explosion. We had dinner around eight o'clock. By 10:30 many of us were succumbing to the sweet release of a pork-induced coma.
So there it is. Charlie made the Bacon Explosion, we ate it, and everyone lived to tell the tale. It's not really the kind of thing you'd make twice (unless you're some kind of coronary masochist). But it was an extremely fun experiment on a gorgeous Saturday afternoon in the hills of West Virginia.
Please excuse us, though, while we mainline some fresh green vegetables...