Pennsylvania Kitchen: PA Pork Jerky Omelets with Marcos Espinoza of Side Project Jerky

As much as we love the salty, smoky flavor of bacon, cooking it up can be a real pain. Whether you make it on the stove top, in the microwave or in the oven, you’re left with a cup full of hot, messy fat and a house that smells like a greasy spoon (which at first, seems like a good thing, and after a few hours gets pretty old). So, we were absolutely smitten with this recipe that Marcos Espinoza, founder of Side Project Jerky, an artisan brand based in Philadelphia, shared with us during his recent visit to the Pennsylvania Kitchen. Instead of going through the rigmarole of cooking up bacon for just an omelet or two, Espinoza suggests using a few pinches of Side Project’s new Peppercorn Pork Shreds. These tasty, porky little morsels are the result of a collaboration with another PA brand, 1732 Meats, and are made with pork sourced from Mount Joy, PA.

Using the pork shreds in this way was an eye opener for us; often, we think of beef, pork or turkey jerky simply as a protein-rich snack for when we’re on the go. But — especially when it’s made with artisan methods, using high-quality meats, as in the case of Side Project Jerky — why not use it as an ingredient in the same way we do with other cured meats? The pork shreds have a great consistency and pack a crazy amount of bacon-esque flavor that make them a winner combined with farm-fresh eggs and PA sharp cheddar. They’d also be incredible atop nachos, as a garnish for a fancy hot dog or on a baked potato. Consider it the bacon hack you’ve been waiting for!

Check out the video to see the technique, then head here for the full recipe for Side Project’s pork jerky omelet!