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Holiday Style Issue

Cider-glazed bacon

Just add bubbly: Mix-and-match recipes you can make ahead for an elegant holiday cocktail party.

By Adam Ried
November 28, 2010

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Mulled Cider-Glazed Bacon Makes about 32 pieces

Be sure to use a rimmed baking sheet to contain the rendered fat from the bacon (lining it with foil eases cleanup). It’s OK for the bacon slices to nudge against each other in order to fit the entire pound on the rack. Last, resist any temptation to use thick-cut bacon – it won’t crisp properly.

2 cups apple cider, preferably unfiltered

2 3-inch cinnamon sticks

6 whole cloves

1 teaspoon peppercorns, cracked

1 teaspoon allspice berries, lightly pounded

Pinch freshly grated nutmeg

1 1/2 tablespoons light brown sugar, packed

1 pound bacon

To a medium saucepan, add the cider, cinnamon sticks, cloves, peppercorns, and allspice berries, then set pan over medium-high heat, bring to a boil, and cook, swirling the pan occasionally, until the liquid is reduced to about 1/3 cup, about 30 minutes. With a slotted spoon, remove the whole spices, then add the nutmeg and brown sugar, and stir to combine.

Meanwhile, adjust the oven rack to the middle position and heat the oven to 400 degrees. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with foil and set a large wire rack into the foil-lined pan. Arrange bacon slices on rack and roast until bacon slices render some of their fat and shrink significantly, about 15 minutes.

Carefully remove bacon from oven, lightly swab and brush slices with about half the cider mixture, return to the oven, and continue roasting until cider mixture adheres to bacon and appears glossy, about 15 minutes longer, carefully turning over the slices and swabbing the second side with remaining cider mixture halfway through roasting time (gently reheat cider mixture to liquefy, if necessary). Carefully remove bacon from oven, transfer to a sheet of wax paper, and cool briefly. Cut the slices in half crosswise and serve warm or at room temperature.

MAKE AHEAD: Up to 3 days before your party (store covered in refrigerator and bring to room temperature before serving).

Adam Ried writes the Globe Magazine’s Cooking column. Send comments to magazine@globe.com.