Char Grilled Gifford’s Bacon


New executive chef Jordan Arcuri takes a seasonal approach to the menu at Oak Steakhouse in Nashville, and this longstanding dish is no exception. He says, “Oak’s Char Grilled Gifford’s Bacon has gone through many seasonal iterations over the years (with more planned in store!), and this fall twist is one of my favorites. We definitely recommend using locally sourced pork and ingredients to maintain freshness and quality.”

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Serves 1

  • 6 ounces Gifford’s bacon, grilled
  • For the sweet potatoes
  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 1 pound butter
  • For the maple jus
  • 1 quart veal stock
  • 3 cups maple syrup
  • ½ cup apple butter
  • For the apple butter
  • 10 pounds red apples, de-seeded and de-cored
  • 1 pound brown sugar
  • 2 cups water
  • Salt to taste
  • Lemon juice to taste
  • For the cold pickled fennel
  • 2 cups rice wine vinegar
  • 1 cup sugar
  • 4 bulbs fennel, shaved on a mandolin

Make the Sweet Potato

  1. Bake 1 large, sweet potato at 350 degrees for 30-45 min and boil 1 large peeled sweet potato until tender. Have 1 pound of butter in your fridge cubed into 1 x 1 inch cubes.
  2. Once your baked and boiled sweet potatoes are done cooking, remove skin. Once skin is removed, start to slowly fluff your potatoes with a fork and add in butter until the entire pound of butter is incorporated. Let sit for 4-5 min to slightly cool.

Make the Maple Jus

  1. Reduce veal stock in a medium sauce pot on a medium heat.
  2. On another stove top burner, reduce 3 cups of maple syrup in another medium sauce pot.
  3. Once the veal stock and syrup have reduced, add your veal stock to your maple syrup (be careful since your maple syrup has reduced its pure sugar, adding a liquid to the pot will cause it to “spit”). Once all the liquid is with your syrup, place back on medium heat and your maple syrup will dissipate into the liquid.
  4. Once your glaze has simmered for 2-3 minutes, remove from the stove top to let cool. Add apple butter to your glaze and whisk in. Season with salt to help bring out natural sweetness.

Make the Gifford’s Bacon

  1. Cut a 10 ounce block off of your Giffords bacon slab, and have a medium sauté pan preheating on a medium high heat to 400 degrees.
  2. Once you have portioned your bacon, wrap in a napkin and place on a plate until your pan is fully heated. Add 2 tablespoons of canola oil and turn your stove top off, remove your bacon from the napkin and press firmly into the pan fat side down.
  3. When your bacon is making noise, turn your stove back on and crank the heat to high. Once it smokes, turn your heat off and place bacon into your preheated 400 degrees oven for 12-16 min. Make sure to check and baste your bacon using the fat rendering in the sauté pan every 2-3 min. If your bacon has a beautiful brown sear, the fat has rendered and is fully hot throughout, remove from the oven and pour off the fat. Let sit for 3-5 minutes.

Make the cold pickled fennel

  1. Take 1 large fennel bulb cut in half length wise.
  2. Placing the cut side down, and having the bottom of the bulb pointed towards your stomach, cut the small root stem off, and slice as thin as possible length wise.
  3. Once cut, add fennel to 3 cups of ice cold water, for 20 seconds (this will shock your fennel, cause it to be more aromatic, and have a nice crunch texture).
  4. Combine with other elements and serve!


  • Recipe by
    Jordan Arcuri of Oak Steakhouse in Nashville
  • Contributing City

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