16 slices of bacon, 1/8 in. thick
6 large butternut squashes
8 tbs. butter
8 sprigs thyme
4 cloves garlic, crushed but kept whole
1 tsp. cracked black pepper
16 sprigs thyme
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Place the bacon on 2 parchment-lined 9-by-13-inch baking sheets. Bake until the bacon is crispy and the fat has rendered, 9 to 10 minutes. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon, reserving both the bacon and the rendered fat. Reduce the oven temperature to 375 degrees. Slice the butternut squash into 1/2-inch-thick slices. Cut the center slices into 2 1/2-inch-diameter rounds with a cookie cutter. You should have at least 24 slices total. Discard the rest of the squash or reserve for another use. Heat the reserved bacon fat in a medium-size ovenproof sauté pan over medium heat, add the squash, and sauté until lightly caramelized, 1 to 2 minutes. Turn the steaks and continue cooking for 1 more minute. (This might have to be done in batches.) Add the butter, thyme, and garlic, and baste the steaks for 1 minute. Flip the steaks over, and transfer the sauté pan (or cookie sheet if making two batches) to the oven. Roast until tender, 7 to 8 minutes. Transfer the steaks with a slotted spatula to a serving platter, and reserve the browned butter. Scatter the bacon over the top or place 3 butternut steaks on a plate, and top with 2 slices of bacon. Season with salt and cracked black pepper, spoon the browned butter over the steaks, and garnish with the thyme.