Sometimes we just need a quick grab-and-go breakfast to power us through the work morning. But when you have a free morning, there’s something to be said about preparing a meal that takes a little time to be enjoyed on an otherwise lazy day. The braised bacon tartine from chef Ben Grupe of Tempus in St. Louis is just that. It’s a piece of crusty toast piled high with maple braised bacon, greens tossed in a warm bacon vinaigrette and topped with a poached egg. Think of it as your classic breakfast, turned up to 11.
We won’t lie. This takes a while to make. But the results are so worth it. And most of it can be made ahead if that’s your thing.
What is a tartine?
Tartine is just French for open-faced sandwich. So a tartine is generally any kind of bread loaded with toppings. Avocado toast? Pretty much a tartine. As long as it doesn’t have a second piece or bread on top, then it’s a tartine.
How do you braise bacon?
You’re probably used to frying bacon, or maybe even baking, grilling, air frying or microwaving it. But braising? This technique is a little different and takes more time but the payoff is big. First, rather than regular slices of bacon you may find in a package you’re going to need to hit up a butcher shop for a 4 pound slab of bacon.
After sauteeing celery, onion and carrots in bacon fat in a heatproof pan, add the slab of bacon and sear it. Add stock, maple syrup and thyme then cover and let is simmer and braise for 90 minutes. Once the bacon is removed, the remaining liquid gets reduced into a flavorful glaze to be brushed on the sliced braised bacon.
While you may start out making this braised bacon to use in this recipe, once you do it once it will likely become something you want to have on hand all the time. Want to level up your breakfast or burger or BLT? This thick, salty sweet bacon will do that. You can make it ahead and serve it hot or cold whenever the craving strikes. It even works well as a snack along with a cocktail.
Next, add more bacon
While the maple braised bacon is enough to make a memorable meal, chef Grupe doesn’t stop there. After the braised bacon is piled on thick country bread, next come the greens tossed in warm bacon vinaigrette. Here, bacon, onion, garlic and shallots are cooked togetheralong with sugar and apple cider vinegar, which is reduced. The whole thing then goes in a food processor and is finished with some oil drizzled in to emulsify all that bacon fat and vinegar goodness.
You can make this dressing ahead and warm it before serving, whether you want to use it here or just make a big dinner salad that is full of flavor.
Finally, the poached egg
While the eggs are some of the simplest ingredients in this recipe they really bring the whole thing together. Perfectly poached eggs top the tartines so that their yolks can be cut open and run all over the greens, bacon and bread for one of the all-time best brunch recipes.
Recipe courtesy chef Ben Grupe of Tempus
Step 2: Rub 4 pieces toasted bread with a garlic clove. Brush lightly with olive oil and season with sea salt.
Step 3: Divide the sliced braised bacon amongst the 4 pieces of bread.
Step 4: Toss 4 cups greens with just enough warm bacon vinaigrette to lightly coat each leaf. Place on top of the bacon and bread.
Step 5: Nestle a poached egg on top of the greens.
Step 6: Finish with sea salt, fresh milled black pepper and shaved chives.