Sunday, December 18, 2011


Update 2016:
This year I made the recipe below, but without bacon, one cup of reduced-by-half apple cider vinegar sweetened with a tsp of sugar and browned panko & Gruyere for topping.
I used some leftovers to create a breakfast hash. I added 3 cooked chopped brats, 3 broiled smashed potatoes and 6 eggs. Delicious!

One Christmas, several years ago, I took a chance (like I often do) and made a recipe I stumbled upon while browsing on the internet. That's when I learned that the combination of bacon, apples and onions as a side dish is a wonderful accompaniment to ham and turkey. Since then, I've learned it's a Danish recipe with nearly as many variations as there are Danes. (slight exaggeration) I've never found the first version I made again, but (I'm guessing here) with the combination of aforementioned three ingredients it's hard to go wrong.

Here are the three latest versions I browsed and found. Please share if you have yet another.
Click here for a printable version

Apple, bacon and Onion side dish
(from Channel 14 in North Carolina)

In today’s recipe, you’ll use fresh fall apples to make a vegetable side dish with onions, bacon and dried thyme that's especially good with roasted pork.

• 10-12 slices bacon 
• 3 cups thinly sliced white onions 
• 3/4 tsp dried thyme 
• apple cider (approx. 1 cup) optional 
• 3 cups thinly sliced, cored apples 
• salt and pepper to taste

Use a heavy bottomed saute pan or cast iron skillet to cook the bacon until it's nice and crisp and then take it out of the pan to drain on paper towels.

Pour off some, but not all of the rendered bacon fat and add 3 cups of thinly sliced white onions right to the skillet. Stir those around and add a heaping 1/2 tsp of dried thyme and cook the onions until they start to soften up. Although it's not necessary, after a few minutes you can add a splash of apple cider (a cup or so) to the onions and let that reduce.
Once the apple cider has reduced, add 3 cups of sliced apples and cook those until they start to soften. You can peel the apples, if you like, but it’s nice to leave the skin on, especially if they're a red apple, for a little added color.

Season with a little salt and pepper to taste, crumble and add the bacon and it's good to go!

Leave the bacon out, if you like, and saute the onions in 2-3 Tbs of butter instead. Use 1 Tbs of fresh thyme in place of the dried thyme if you have it.
Serves 4-6 as a side


"Go ahead and try this, I think you'll be pleasantly surprised. The smoky flavor of the bacon enhances the carmelized apples and onion and puts this over the top.

Recipe: Æbleflæsk Serves 2

6 Slices of bacon, 3 per person
1 apple, sliced
1 onion, sliced
2 slices Rye Bread, one per person.
Cook bacon til done. While this is cooking, peel the onion and slice the onion and the apple. Take bacon out of pan and place aside. Drain pan of most of the fat, leaving about 1-2 tsp. of bacon fat in the pan. Add in the onion and apple and cook until it has started to turn color, and carmelize. Add the bacon back into the pan and continue cooking. When the onions and apple are nice and carmelized, take out of pan and serve on a slice of rye bread. You can up the quantities depending on how many people you are serving.

* You can also make this vegetarian by omitting the bacon and cooking the onion and apple in some olive oil. Not only would it be meat free, it would also be a lot more heart healthy. I've done it like this many times. And apart from the tsp. of olive oil, it's also pretty fat free. Onions and apples aren't high in calories, and their health benefits prepared with olive oil, well, let's put it this way, it's all good for you that way."

And another from Misk Cooks blog

"A few notes about Æbleflæsk.
1. You’ll need a deep-sided frying pan because there’s a mountain of apples and onion that need to fit into it. As it cooks, the volume will reduce by half (at least).
2. If you don’t have a lid for your frying pan, cover it with foil. You don’t want the cooking apples to dry out.
3. Don’t overcook the apples. They should be tender when tested with a knife or fork, but not allowed to disintegrate into applesauce or mush.
4. Don’t throw out the bacon fat; you need it to flavour the apples. It’s just not the same without it.
5. We like the apple peel. Peel them if you wish.

Mr. Misk’s Danish Æbleflæsk (serves 3-4)


8-10 slices of streaky bacon
1 thinly sliced onion
6-8 apples, cut into equal 1-inch size chunks (half cooking apples and half eating apples)
2-3 tablespoons sugar (to taste)


Place the bacon in a cold frying pan and fry slowly until crisp. Do not allow the bacon to burn as this taints the flavour of the apple when the bacon fat and apple chunks are mixed together. When cooked, remove the bacon from the pan, and place between layers of kitchen towel to drain. Add the apple chunks and sliced onion to the pan with the bacon fat, toss thoroughly so everything is mixed through, and then reduce the heat to medium-low. Clap a tight-fitting lid on the frying pan, and allow the apples to soften and the onion to cook until translucent. Stir every few minutes to keep the apple from catching on the bottom of the pan. Cook for approximately 15-minutes until the apple chunks are tender. Don’t overcook; this isn’t applesauce.

Now sprinkle with sugar, stir and turn cooked apples gently, and taste. Adjust sugar if necessary. Add salt if you must.

To serve, poke the bacon into the Æbleflæsk, and serve with slices of dark rye bread. The Æbleflæsk is usually spooned on to the top of the rye bread as an ‘open sandwich’ with the bacon eaten on the side. Enjoy!!"

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