Pat And Gina Neely's Ultimate Secret Ingredient

"Down Home with the Neelys" may have ended around the time that Pat and Gina Neely's marriage came to its conclusion, but the couple provided viewers with great recipes and cooking tips before it did. Their old-fashioned macaroni salad, Gina's white sangria, and the couple's peach glazed ham are some of our favorites. Unfortunately, Gina shared during an interview with Essence that she felt the success of their show became bigger than their marriage. "The TV show became bigger than the marriage. He became more my business partner than my husband. I didn't ask for a business partner. I needed my husband," she revealed.

However, speaking to People, Pat said he felt the show was a gift. "One of the things that I'll always cherish about Down Home with the Neelys was that I had an opportunity to get on television every day and invite people into our home. And I was able to share that with my high school sweetheart, a woman I truly loved, and to be me. I never had to act," he shared. Well, one thing we will always cherish from the series is the ultimate secret ingredient the former couple exposed (via Food Network).

Pat and Gina Neely used bacon fat for added flavor in their dishes

According to Food Network, Pat and Gina Neely's ultimate secret ingredient is none other than, "Bacon fat, baby!"  As Pat noted, "Who doesn't love that smoky, hearty flavor? And you know how Gina and I love our pigs! We like to chop up some bacon, throw it in a skillet, render the fat and use that flavor to sauté our veggies. Oink!" This is one of those ingredients we totally understand. Bacon's aroma and salty goodness can really add a pop of flavor to just about anything.

The Neelys aren't the only celebrity chefs who swear by bacon fat. Guy Fieri also is a fan of this ingredient. During an interview with The Daily Beast, Fieri said his guilty pleasure, "real-deal, kick-a–, legit popcorn," is made with bacon grease. Speaking of his exact recipe, Fieri said he uses "two or three tablespoons of bacon fat," a sliced  jalapeño, a bit of shallot, and a bit of garlic." "Cook that down. Strain it real quick, so we don't burn the garlic and don't burn the shallots. Add that fat back to the pan and throw it in with some fantastic Amish popcorn, if not we'll use some Orville Redenbacher," he shared.