Life Below Zero: Port Protection, Sam shares his Old Timer’s Bacon recipe

Sam Carlson uses some venison meat to make sausages that he can smoke to last him the entire winter. Photo provided by BBC Worldwide Limited
Sam Carlson uses some venison meat to make sausages that he can smoke to last him the entire winter. Photo provided by BBC Worldwide Limited /

Sometimes foodies can be inspired from unlikely places. In Life Below Zero Port Protection, the Old Timer’s Bacon recipe is a universal comfort food.

A great food lesson can be learned from a variety of sources. As seen in Nat Geo’s Life Below Zero Port Protection, life goes on in even the harshest conditions. Even though most people do not live this particular life, there are many lessons to be learned, including a great bacon recipe.

In today’s current climate, people are stocking up on food more and shopping less. The idea of maximizing food purchases and reducing food waste is vital. Although the kids might balk at leftovers, again, home cooks need to be creative with the resources that they have.

As seen in Life Below Zero Port Protection, these people have a similar struggle. While the grocery store might be a long distance away, they need to make smart decisions on food. Through creative recipes, they can have food that lasts them throughout the season.

In one episode, Sam Carlson, who has been living in isolation for 50 years, shares a few recipes that have been valuable to him. From using the available resources to smart cooking methods, he has food that lasts him a whole season.

Check out this exclusive clip from the episode.

As Sam shows, making sausage is valuable. While that one venison loin might make a great dinner, combining it into sausage can make several meals. The idea is to maximize the overall usage.

Making sausage is relatively easy. The biggest factor to remember is making sure that the sausage has enough fat. Dry sausage is not a tasty bite.

Also, Sam smokes his sausage. While some people might not have a smoke box at home, the idea of smoked meat is important.

Smoke helps to preserve a food. With little heat, the moisture is drawn out. The combination of salt and smoke helps the meat last longer. Think about it. That salami or beef jerky last longer than the pork loin that you cooked for dinner.

Although some people understand that making sausage can be economical, many people are looking for new flavor experiences. Since bacon is consider by many to be a universal comfort food, bacon recipes can be a hot commodity.

In this Life Below Zero Port Protection episode, Sam shares his Old Timer’s Bacon recipe. While it isn’t necessarily a bacon like many people recognize, it is a version of a cured meat and is like a coarse bacon.

Created by mistake, it is a better version of a smoked meatloaf. Although there might be a connection to SPAM, this bacon has a lot of possibilities. Whether eaten on its own or incorporated with other foods, there are a lot of options for this type of recipe.

Although Old Timer’s Bacon might not be found in the local grocery store, the concept has validity for many cooks. Why not find a way to incorporate cured meats into a meal.

Right now, many people are looking to shop less yet keep the pantry stocked. Cured meats are a great option. Even if you do not make your own version at home, it can be a thought when shopping. Grabbing an extra salami or even some SPAM can be a good choice. With the right pairings, that cured, smoked meat can make a tasty meal.

Why not be inspired by Life Below Zero Port Protection. Although self-distancing might be hard, these people show that life even in harsh conditions can be good. Sometimes out of difficult situations a few discoveries can be made. Old Timer’s Bacon sounds rather tasty. If Sam could create that recipe, just think of what you can do with your pantry ingredients.

Life Below Zero Port Protection Dark Days episode airs new episodes on National Geographic on Tuesdays at 9 p.m. EST.

Life Below Zero is produced by BBC Studios for National Geographic.

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Have you created any innovative recipes out of necessity?