A Successful Benedictine And Bacon Sandwich Relies On Perfectly Crispy Pork

There are many delicious sandwiches that rely on perfectly crispy strips of pork, like the classic BLT or an indulgent bacon cheeseburger. Then there are the less common sandwiches that include the salty ingredient, like the Benedictine and bacon sandwich. In case you haven't heard of it, this sandwich is a Kentucky delicacy that's typically served in bite-sized variations with Benedictine spread, which consists of cucumber and cream cheese. 

You might have tried one at an event like the Kentucky Derby, if you've been. "You are just looking for crispy bacon [for this recipe]," says Tricia Wheeler, a Tasting Table recipe developer who created our version of an easy Benedictine and bacon sandwich that includes tangy pickled red onions and fresh arugula for contrasting textures. Crispy bacon is key because nobody wants to bite into chewy, fatty bacon. 

It's just as important to make sure the bacon isn't overly greasy, so be sure to let the pork cool and drain on paper towels before you assemble the sandwiches. For the crispy meat, you can also swap regular bacon for turkey bacon to avoid pork, thick-cut bacon for a more meaty flavor, applewood smoked bacon for some smokiness, or pepper bacon for a bit of spice.

Making perfectly crispy bacon

For extra crispy bacon, Tricia Wheeler suggests baking it on the middle rack of your oven at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for eight to 10 minutes on a baking sheet lined with foil. You can cook it on the stovetop or in the microwave if that's your preferred method, but keep in mind that it will create more of a mess in the kitchen.

To ensure the crispiest bacon for your sandwiches, here are a couple more tips. For starters, if you're cooking it in the oven, use parchment paper if you don't have foil because this way the bacon will get crispy without sticking to the pan. As a bonus, this makes for easier cleanup. You can also drain the fat off the pan and flip the bacon halfway through to make sure it doesn't get soggy. 

If you have a wire cooling rack, cook the bacon on that over a rimmed baking sheet, which allows the grease to fall to the bottom. And, as a last resort for crispy bacon in a jiffy, use an air fryer. No matter what method you use to cook it, render the bacon fat and save it for use in place of oil and butter in flavor-packed dishes like scrambled eggs, burgers, and roasted vegetables.