This is a modern Danish dish with very ancient roots, called Æbleflæsk. Apples and cured pork belly were ingredients used by the Germanic people’s into antiquity. It is the favourite dish of the Hail and Horn Gathering and – by popular demand – has been permanently added to the menu. It is a butter of caramelized apples and bacon. The recipe requires an exceedingly simple list of ingredients. The completed dish is definitely more than the sum of its parts. It is wonderfully complex and fabulous, as if made from the flesh of Sæhrímnir and of Iðunn’s apples.
Two days before serving
☼ Bacon, well smoked (1 part, by weight)***
☼ Apples, sweet variety (1 part, by weight)
☼ Apples, tart variety (1 part, by weight)
☼ Honey (to taste, optional)
☼ Smoked salt (to taste, optional)
In a wide frying pan, cut the bacon into small pieces and fry until crisp, at a medium temperature. Remove bacon from the pan. Peel and core the apples, slicing very thinly. Fry the apples in the rendered bacon grease at a high temperature. Stir constantly to ensure it does not burn. Mash down apples as they break down, but leave them a little chunky. (It is usually the tart apples that stay chunky.) Cook until the apple mixture darkens, thickens and caramelizes slightly. Add honey and salt, if it tastes like it needs it. Mix bacon bits back into the mixture. Refrigerate in serving jars.
20 minutes before serving
Bring to just below room temperature before serving. Serve open-faced on bread, preferably Danish-style, dark rye bread.
*** To order sustainable, GMO-free, pasture-raised, pork from black pigs, visit “Upper Canada Heritage Meat”.[Not sponsored.]