Wild Boar Bacon and Lemon Thyme Popcorn – My Tribute to Partick Swayze
This recipe is a bit of fun and yummy at the same time! The perfect Saturday afternoon recipe when you have time on your hands, the weather is uninspiring and it’s a bit too early to relax in front of the telly.
I know wild boar bacon is not a ingredient that you purchase every day from you local supermarket but I found these amazing bright pink and lovely thick slices on the Susan Adam’s Wild Boar of Brompton Stand at the Aldeburgh Food Festival. When I spotted the wild boar bacon I was hooked and challenged at the same time. I challenged myself to think outside the box and buy ingredients that I would normally look at but put back and not buy. Yes you guessed right I’m a bit boring, play it safe and a traditionalist in my own rights! So the challenge is to let myself go and try something different! It worked and I’m very proud of myself, I even managed to persuade Mr.P….. and that’s a very good thing!
Dirty Dancing was waiting for me so I had the prefect excuse to make this wild boar bacon and lemon thyme popcorn. Now that is something you will not find at your local cinema, both the popcorn and Dirty Dancing in tow. We always have the popcorn debate, for me it should be salted and the other half always has it sweet….well I suppose as each of us has their own bucket, it is perhaps not such a bad thing after all!
When I worked in the industry and had to cook for plenty of canape and drinks functions, I was expected to be continuously creative and come up with the next big thing. I remember my nibbles phase when I used to make flavoured popcorn to fill big glass vases along with crispy fried lotus roots and spicy hot nuts. The flavour range of the popcorn only went as far as crispy basil and the occasional thyme and sea salt. I found that the secret for maximum flavour absorption was that the popcorn had to be freshly popped and still warm and the deep fried basil also had to be freshly done. This way the popcorn absorbed the basil flavour and I remember it to be really nice.
So today I used the same procedures as with the basil version. I cooked the bacon under the grill until very very crispy and dry, turning it several times to make sure it was very crispy. If you had attempted to eat this at this stage you would have probably required a dentist to save your teeth. Once the bacon has chilled and all the fat has dried off, it was turned into powder in the Thermomix by putting it onto running blades at speed 10.It was then mixed it with a good pinch of Maldon sea salt and freshly picked lemon thyme. I popped the popcorn in the fat dripping from the bacon and whilst the popcorn was still warm added the bacon powder.
The wild boar bacon and lemon thyme popcorn was seriously good and Dirty Dancing left a lump in my throat too, I suppose it’s a cheers to Patrick Swayze!
- 3 rashers of wild boar back bacon
- 80g popcorn kernels
- 2tbs sunflower oil
- 1tsp of lemon thyme, chopped
- Maldon Sea Salt
Preheat the grill, lay the bacon on a baking tray and grill the bacon until very crispy, turn it a couple of times during the cooking process to ensure the bacon is completely dry and crispy without it being burnt.
Let the bacon cool on a cooling rack, this will allow it to crisp up, pat dry with kitchen paper.
One the bacon is cold break it into even size pieces. Turn the thermomix on with the blades running at speed 10, drop the bacon all at once onto the running blades and place the measuring cup in place, grind for 10 seconds. Add the freshly chopped lemon thyme and a generous amount of Maldon sea salt to the powdered bacon.
Heat a large saucepan with the sunflower oil and add the bacon dripping to the pan, add the popcorn and place the lid on top, shake the pan a couple of times and once the popcorn starts to pop turn the heat off and leave the saucepan on the cooker until you cannot hear the corn popping any longer.
Remove the lid and add the powdered bacon to the warm popcorn and mix well, serve immediately.
Serves 2, all depends on the occasion it would serve 10 people at a drinks party.
Food Fanatics Tips
This bacon flavoured popcorn should be eaten on the same day of preparation, I do not recommend you to keep it. Use any bacon of you choice, if you are going to use streaky it would be best to double the quantity.