bacon, lemon thyme, and codIt’s interesting, around here, the many different ways in which we come up with a new recipe. Today’s inspiration was a package of moose bacon from the freezer. That’s right, moose bacon. I don’t know if it’s a ‘thing’ in other states (deer or elk bacon) but it seems to be a special new ‘invention’ among the processors of Alaska to produce and offer game bacon. To be totally honest I’m not really sure if it is indeed a new thing, but everyone around me seems new to it. As I’m not really that deeply steeped in the game processing community, perhaps they’ve been doing it in the lower 48 for years?

moose bacon freshly sliced

You can easily see that working with this moose bacon is a little different than traditional bacon

Anyway it’s an interesting idea. It’s easy to see why bacon is made from our lovely, high-body-fat-contented friend, Mr. Pig, but game is much much more lean.

It looks like the standard for making bacon includes the obvious pork belly cut, and 5-10 days of seasoned curing in refrigeration, with regular flipping. After this comes smoking until the inner temperature reaches 150 degrees F.

fresh lemon thyme

Lemon Thyme brings a wonderful, fresh, lemony fragrance and flavor to a dish

What I’m seeing for game is a little different. Although I saw one recipe for syringe infusing a shoulder roast with brine, most of the recipes seem to be made using course ground meat with an equal amount of pork fat, and prepackaged seasoning from a hunting store. This would then be hard pressed into foil cake pan and smoked until an inner temperature of 130 degrees F is reached.

Tasty yes, but having worked with moose bacon from Indian Valley Meats I would agree that it tasted a lot like ham. This has definitely sparked an interest in curing some of my own bacon. I am eagerly awaiting ‘payday,’ an exacting my plan. I have also seen around the internet that Mike’s Meats has worked on a few different recipes for bacon. Perhaps more successfully?

moose bacon and cod

This was my first attempt at this recipe, using the moose bacon. I served it over white rice and watercress. Although it was good, adding the heavy whipping cream and switching to traditional bacon made for a better dish.

That being said I made sure to make this recipe using both game and regular bacon so that I knew for sure it would be tasty.

So why the cod? I had seen it on sale, felt like it was time for the kids and I to get some omega 3’s and figured it would be something no one had come up with before. This left me with the other problem of what on earth I could pair bacon and cod with. I have smokey and salty in the bacon. I have fish, which is great with salt and lemon, but bacon and lemon? I literally wondered around the produce section smelling things. I had a grapefruit and pear in my basket having already planned to use white cooking wine. Perhaps a sweet-ish reduction with either of those would work with the bacon? I was next intrigued by the peppery-ness of watercress leaves. AH HA! Lemon Thyme. It was savory, it was just a little lemony, it would perfect!

As I said before I made sure to cook this recipe with both the game bacon and traditional bacon. I have to admit that the game bacon I used is very tasty but really not the same as bacon. I’m going to play around with it more in other recipes that might otherwise called for ham.

bacon, cod, and lemon thyme

I am really happy with the way this dish turned out.

As for the traditional bacon version I found that the dish came out very fresh! Even with the inclusion of bacon; a typically not-so-‘fresh’ flavor. I used quite a bit of the lemon thyme, but being sure to strip off any twig-like structures the leaves were very palatable. (This is unlike some herbs that can be rough textured or bitter when used whole.) I was also surprised at how well my 5 year old son liked it. Andrew was concerned that the wine would be too strong of a flavor, but with the addition of heavy cream, that problem was obviously solved, as he gobbled the fish right up!

I will definitely make this dish again, and I am even more excited to have discovered lemon thyme. In addition, I felt that the combination of wine and cream was an exciting new idea with endless possibilities. We shall see what the future holds for these!

Bacon, Lemon Thyme, and Cod



  • 2 pounds filleted cod (or other white fish)
  • 12-16 oz bacon – chopped
  • ~50 sprigs of lemon thyme – remove stems, retain leaves (about half of a .75 oz package)
  • 2 cups white wine
  • 1 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 2 T minced garlic
  • lemon – cut into 8 wedges, for juice


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Cut the bacon into small pieces. Remember that they will cook down in size, and unless you want bacon bits pay attention to just how small you chop them. Pan fry over medium heat until mostly done.
  2. Cut your fillets to fit neatly into a large baking dish. Pour the wine and heavy whipping cream over the fish. Sprinkle the minced garlic throughout and top the fish and excess sauce with the bacon and lemon thyme leaves. Squeeze 2-4 lemon wedges over the fish, saving the others for plating.
  3. Bake, undisturbed, for 20-25 minutes, until the fish is fully cooked and fork tender.
  4. Serve with a favorite pasta or grain, pouring excess sauce and the juice from one lemon wedge over the plated fish.

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