Special equipment: Toothpicks
Assemble dredge ingredients in a 1-quart resealable plastic bag, seal, and shake to mix thoroughly.
Add the bacon to a cold 10-inch pan (I find a cast iron skillet works well) and put on medium heat. When fat has rendered and while bacon is still soft, add onions to the pan with brown sugar. Stir onions occasionally, cook until golden brown. You can add a bit of salt and pepper if you like.
While onion is cooking, add meat to the dredge, 5 to 6 pieces at a time, seal bag, and shake bag to coat all pieces. Remove dredged pieces, shake off excess, and repeat with remaining meat.
Remove onions and bacon from the pan, trying to leave as many rendered juices as possible, and set onion mixture aside. Add 1/2 of the olive oil to the pan, raise heat to medium temperature a little bit, and allow oil to heat up. Add meat, a handful at a time, and use wooden spoon to separate pieces. Cook for 10 to 12 minutes, stirring occasionally (note: if meat starts to stick, add a little more oil to pan.) Return onion mixture to the pan, and toss.
Dissolve cornstarch in bourbon and add to pan. Continue to cook for about 3 minutes, stirring. Liquid should thicken, slightly. Remove the meat and onion mixture from the pan and pour the sauce over the top. Serve hors d'oeuvres family style with toothpicks and crackers or French bread slices.
Recipe courtesy of J.Fred Volk