The bacon explosion is pretty much the most popular bacon recipe in the history of the interwebz. It’s no big mystery as to why – it’s only the most glorious of all glorious things packed into one big log of meaty goodness. There are plenty of variations online, but this is my take. I decided to make sandwiches out of bacon explosion rounds and top the sandwich with an awesome apple coleslaw. The creamy, freshness of the slaw balances the meaty spiciness of the explosion perfectly yielding a full on fireworks party in and around my mouth.

Ingredients:

1 package (~2lbs) Maple Leaf Thick Cut Bacon

1 lb Mild Italian Sausage

1 lb Spicy Italian Sausage

2 cups Shredded Monterey Jack Cheese

¼ cup Barbecue sauce

For the Rub:
1/2 cupBrown Sugar
1/4 cupPaprika
1 tbspBlack Pepper
1 tbspSalt
1 tbspChili Powder
1 tbspGarlic Powder
1 tbspOnion Powder
1 tspCayenne Pepper

For the Coleslaw:
1/2 headCabbage
2Carrots
3Fuji Apples
1Red Onion
1 cupHellmann's Mayo
1/4 Apple Cider Vinegar
1/3 CupHoney
2 tbspPoppy Seeds
Salt and Pepper

Directions

1. Preheat your oven to 350F.

2. First we’re going to need to make our rub. It’s really quite straight forward. Just mix together all of those ingredients. Brown sugar to cayenne pepper.

3. That wasn’t so hard, was it?

Note: This will make plenty of rub. Leftover rub can be stored in an airtight container or jar and will keep fairly well. This rub is great on pretty much any barbecued form of pork.

4. Put all of your sausage, both mild and spicy into a bowl. My local grocery store didn’t have the loose spicy sausage meat, so I just bought the prepared sausages, made a slight cut down the length of the sausage to break the casing and then removed the meat. It’s really that simple.

5. Add a couple tablespoons of your rub mix to the sausage meat and mix everything together really well. Get right in there with your hands. Don’t be afraid.

6. Line your countertop with foil or wax paper. Make a 7×7 strip bacon weave with your 14 strips of thick cut bacon on this.

7. Spread more rub on your bacon weave. Just get that stuff everywhere!

8. Grab your sausage meat and spread it in an thin, even layer over the entire surface of the bacon weave. Leave a little bit of space around the edges, but the important part is to make sure everything is even.

9. Cover the sausage layer with a layer of cheese. This is really starting to come together, here.

10. Fry up the remaining pieces of bacon from the package and crumble these over the cheese layer.

11. Drizzle everything with barbecue sauce. Is your mouth watering yet? Because mine sure is as I’m writing and reminiscing about it.

12. Now comes the hard part. Carefully roll the sausage layer into a log. You want it to be fairly tight, but be careful not to leave any holes, or else all of our goodness will leak out the sides when we cook it.

13. Roll the bacon weave around the sausage. This will be significantly easier than rolling the sausage itself.

14. Put more rub around the outside of the whole bacon weave. Doesn’t it look pretty?

15. Whack that bad boy in your oven for about an hour, or until the interior of the meat registers 165F. I highly recommend purchasing a quick-read thermometer for this purpose (and for cooking roasts and whatnot). It’s an invaluable tool.

16. While your explosion is doing its thing, let’s prep the ‘slaw. To make the dressing, mix together the honey, mayo and apple cider vinegar.

17. Season this with salt and pepper then pop in your poppy seeds. Give that a good mixin’ and set it aside.

18. Grab your cabbage and give it a good shreddin’. Sure you could buy the pre-shredded stuff, but where’s the fun in that?

19. Add in a couple shredded carrots. Same goes here: pre-shredded – acceptable, but no fun.

20. Julienne your apples into little matchsticks.

21. Try to achieve the same size and shape with your onion.

22. Mix EVERYTHING together – including your dressing – and pop it in the fridge for at least an hour before serving. If you eat it right away, it won’t taste very good.

23. Once your explosion is done, let it sit for at least 10 minutes to let the cheese settle on the inside, then cut it into rounds.

24. Whack it on a toasted hamburger bun and top with your apple ‘slaw. As much as I know you want to, try not eat the ENITRE bacon explosion. Your personal trainer wouldn’t be very happy. Nor would your heart.