Lamb Bacon Quiche Lorraine
Quiche is a crowd-pleasing dish for a weekend brunch, or special gathering where a few extra people might be at the table. It takes a little effort beforehand, but pays dividends for the cook since it can be baked ahead, reheated gently before serving, or even set out for a buffet at room temperature. And, who doesn’t love a homemade, flaky pastry filled with soft, tender custard?
Quiche variations are limited only by your imagination, but one stands above the rest: Quiche Lorraine, the classic filled with a tender custard, smoked bacon, and rich alpine cheese. Chef Bergo, whose family is French-Canadian, makes his quiche in a shallow tart pan, the same way his family made it, and how he remembers eating it in France, with one difference: he substitutes our delicious lamb (or goat) bacon for pork.
Besides being irresistably delicious, this recipe is a great example of how to use our grass-fed lamb or goat bacon in it’s slab/chunk form. Where typical bacon is usually sold in thin slices, having a block of un-cut bacon gives more freedom for the cook, and means the bacon can be cut into rich, meaty chunks, instead of small crumbles. If you prefer, we also offer sliced bacon, but Chef Bergo prefers the uncut form. For a great, lamb or goat-centric variation, if you can find goat or sheeps milk at your local coop or grocery store, it makes a great addition for all or part of the cream.
This recipe is by chef Alan Bergo. A chef from Minnesota, Alan is a veteran of the culinary industry, former executive chef of acclaimed Lucia’s Restaurant, and the Salt Cellar. Founder of the website Forager Chef, he’s best known as a respected authority on Midwestern foraging. Learn more about Alan and his hunt for mushrooms, wild and obscure foods at Forager Chef.
Serves 6 as a brunch entrée
- 6 oz lamb bacon cut into ½ inch dice/cubes
- 1 ¾ cup heavy cream
- 4 ounces gruyere or aged swiss cheese
- Pinch of fresh ground nutmeg
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- 3 large eggs
- Fresh watercress dressed with lemon and olive oil, for serving, optional
- Fresh sliced chives, to garnish, optional
For the crust
- 1 ¼ cup all purpose flour
- 6 tablespoons sour cream
- 8 tablespoons unsalted butter, chilled
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt
- Pie weights, like lentils or beans, for baking the crust
- Cut the butter into small cubes, then, in a stand mixer or using your hands, mix with the flour and salt until the mixture resembles meal. Add the sour cream and mix until a smooth dough forms, but do not knead it. The dough should be uniform in texture, with no streaks of butter. Cover the dough with cling film and refrigerate for 30 minutes to rest.
- Preheat the oven to 350. Remove the dough and roll it out to the shape of the tart pan on a floured surface. Press the dough into a greased tart pan, then perforate with a fork, cover with aluminum foil and fill with pie weights, such as dried lentils or beans. Bake the crust for 30 minutes, then remove and cool.
- While the crust is baking, make the filling. Heat the cream until hot, then remove from the heat. Render the fat from the bacon and crisp it lightly, then remove with a slotted spoon, cool, and chop coarsely. Scatter the bacon in the tart shell, then the cheese.
- In a blender, puree the cream (it should be warm, but not hot enough to cook the egg) with the eggs, a pinch of nutmeg and the salt. Pour the cream mixture into the tart shell, then bake at 375 for 15 minutes or until cooked and lightly browned. Allow the quiche to cool for 5-10 minutes before cutting to help it set. The quiche can also be made a day or two ahead of time and gently reheated before serving. Serve with a salad of fresh watercress dressed with lemon and olive oil.