Bacon Old Fashioned
The natural pairing of bacon and brunch gets the cocktail treatment in this savory drink from New Leaf Restaurant & Bar in New York City.
- ½ ounce maple syrup
- 2 dashes Angostura bitters
- 4 ounces bacon-infused bourbon
- Orange twist, for garnish
- Candied bacon strip, for garnish
Combine all ingredients except for garnishes with ice in a shaker glass. Stir, then strain and serve straight up or over ice in a rocks glass. Garnish with a twist of orange and a strip of candied bacon.
I am so excited to share this Old Fashioned Bacon Bourbon with you! It’s a wonderful little bevvy, strong yet smooth and a little bit sweet, that I’ve wanted to replicate since I visited Nantucket last fall with the National Pork Board for the 2013 Pork Crawl.
So when the National Pork Board asked me if I’d share with my readers my own personal #PorkBucketList, a dream list of ways I’d love to experience pork in new ways, it took me all of two seconds to come up with the first item I wanted to tackle. You guessed it. My mouth was watering, waiting to infuse a bottle of bourbon with the awesomeness of bacon. You have to check out this recipe at the end of this post, courtesy of the Boarding House in Nantucket.
For every 1 gallon of water, add:
- 1/3 – 1 cup sea salt (depending if you’re on a lo-salt diet)
- 1 cup granulated sugar or Splenda®
- 1 cup brown sugar or Splenda® brown sugar mix
- 1 tbsp cure no. 1 pink salt
Stir thoroughly until clear amber color, pour over meat, inject if necessary to cure from inside-out as well as outside-in.
Weight down with a partially filled 1 qt or 1 gal. Ziploc bag or bags to keep meat immersed.
Curing times vary with meat, but generally overnight to 2-3 days for chickens and turkeys, 8-10 days buckboard bacon, 10-14 days belly bacon, pork shoulder, whole butts, 3-4 weeks whole hams, 10-20 days corned beef (fresh beef roasts, briskets, rolled rib roasts, etc.) If whole muscle is more than 2″ thick, then inject so it can cure i/o as well as o/i, and/or in and around bone structures, etc.
You can add any other flavorings you’d like, this is just the basic curing brine. 1 heaping tablespoon of cure is about 1 ounce. The maximum concentration allowed safely is 3.84 ounces per 1 gallon of brine (24 lbs.per 100 gallons: 16 oz. x 24 = 384 ounces, 1/100th is 3.84 ounces). You can experiment with different concentrations as long as you keep it between those parameters.
I add pepper,onion, garlic, old bay.
My buddy and I split a 4 bellie case a few weeks ago. Cut them up and put them in a bucket with the cure mix…then into the spare fridge for 15 days. No specific reason for 15 days..it just worked out that way.
Rinsed and put back in the fridge with a generous coating of pepper onion and garlic on half. Added a thick coat of Slap Ya Mama on the other half.
Two days later they got 34 hours of pecan dust smoke using 2 amazens. Sliced off the skins with ease using my Granpas steel filet knife.. Skin side down cutting like skinning fish.
Back into the fridge for a couple days. Used my awesome Berkel commercial slicer and had 22 pounds sliced and 2 pounds of ends in no time.
Vacuum packed using Lisa Bs superb bags.
Try it you will like it.
Cook bacon in pan and reserve rendered fat. (1) When bacon fat has cooled a bit, pour off one ounce from pan. (2) Pour bourbon into a non-porous container. (3) Strain the bacon fat into the container and infuse for 4 to 6 hours at room temperature. Place mixture in freezer until all the fat is solidified. With a slotted spoon, remove fat and strain mixture back into bottle.
In mixing glass, stir 2 ounces bacon-infused bourbon, maple syrup, and bitters with ice. Strain into chilled rocks glass filled with ice. Garnish with orange twist. (Published 2008)
In a large container, mix the entire bottle of Cody Road Maple with 1/3 cup of bacon fat.
Mix well and let the mixture sit at least 12 hours at room temperature.
We call this process "bacon washing" the whiskey.
After resting for at least 12 hours, place the maple whiskey in the freeser for the fat to congeal.
Pour through a thin sieve or a filter to remove the bacon fat from the whiskey.
Add the orange juice and bitters to the strained mixture.
Pour 4 ounces of this mixture over ice and garnish with a piece of candied bacon
Mississippi River Distilling Company
303 North Cody Road
PO Box 801
LeClaire, IA 52753
Homemade Bacon (dry cured and air dried)
Before you get started, don't forget, I created a recipe card just for readers of this post. If you want it, I'll send it right over – just click here.
You will need:
– Fresh pork belly from the best quality hog you can find (if you can't grow your own pigs yet, try and find a local pork farmer! or talk to a high-quality local butcher).
1. Combine the sugar and salt. Generously rub the flesh side of the pork belly with the mixture.
2. Rub the sugar and salt into the flesh some more.
3. Did I mention you need to rub the ‘ol pork belly down with the sugar and salt? The sides too. Make sure to get any pockets or under bits of fat – anywhere where water could accumulate. All of it, man.
4. Stack the pork belly slab (or slabs) into the large plastic bin. Stick in the refrigerator and forget about it until the next day. Dump the accumulated liquid out of the plastic bin and rerub the flesh with the sugar and salt. Stack it all back in the tub and stick it in the fridge again.
5. The next day, dump out any accumulated liquid and rub the sugar and salt mixture on any part of the pork belly where the salt and sugar has been completely dissolved. A thin layer will do. Repeat this process every day until liquid stops accumulating in the bin. Ours took about 10 days.
6. Rinse the pork belly under water, using your fingertips to scrub off any remaining sugar and salt. Pat dry.
7. Voila! Cured bacon. We ran meat hooks through ours and hung it up in the kitchen.
Waiiiit, Shaye, what was that you said? You hung it up in the kitchen? Won't it rot?
The dry salt curing takes care of the bacteria in the meat. As the bacon sits out, the surface dries out, and this prevents new bacteria from forming. It's incredibly, really, that the salt can make the meat and fat stable at room temperature. Think of it just like a meat jerky – but not quite as hard (same concept). We're simply using salt and air to moderate bacteria growth.
The bacon will last for months at room temperature (though it will continue to dry out little by little as time goes on) and should be inspected daily for signs of rancidity or any insect problems.
But how can I prevent insects from bothering my meat?
Great question, reader. We have completely coated the flesh side of our pork belly with freshly ground black pepper. This has completely deterred the flies, thus far. On top of that, loosely wrapping the bacon slabs in a vey breathable cheese cloth (like this one) is another great water to deter any flies from landing on the meat. Should you notice any fly eggs, a quick rub with a clean washcloth that's been dipped in vinegar is sufficient to clean up the pork.
It may sound completely foreign to our refrigerator-driven culture to cure meats in such a way. But this was how it was done for thousands of years before the luxury of refrigeration. And frankly, I've discovered the taste to be unlike anything I've ever experienced. It's like bacon. Times a million. The subtle flavors are much more pronounced and will only get better with a bit of time.
These slabs of home grown, home harvested, and home cured pork belly hanging from my kitchen ceiling make me so happy, it almost puts me at loss for words. Learning, diligence, hard work, perseverance, and adventure is wrapped up inside of them. They represent our farm. Our journey. Our love for food. And not only food, but food that has a story. That has a meaning.
Kicking back to these old school methods of preservation is a way of not only connecting with times past, but learning from it, and getting to be a part of them. It's reconnecting with a lost knowledge and skill set that I believe still holds significant value.
But my passion for this bacon is so serious, it's caused some pretty intense emotions.
For other great meal ideas, check out The Elliott Homestead Cooking Community HERE
What is in an old fashioned
As I’ve discussed before the old fashion drink is more of a style and less of a specific recipe. And the style calls for only four ingredients that every bar will have on hand spirt, sugar, water (ice), and bitters. Any spirt, any sugar, and any variety of bitters in ice is, by definition, an old fashion cocktail.
- ¼ cup bacon drippings
- ¼ cup all-purpose flour
- 1 teaspoon salt, or to taste
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper, or to taste
- 4 cups milk, divided
Heat bacon drippings in a skillet over medium heat whisk flour into drippings until smooth. Reduce heat to low and cook the flour mixture until it turns a caramel brown color, stirring constantly, about 15 minutes. Be careful, the roux burns easily. Stir in salt and black pepper.
Whisk 1/2 cup milk into the roux until thoroughly blended. Continue whisking milk into the gravy, 1/2 cup at a time, whisking in each amount of milk completely before adding more. Bring gravy to a simmer and whisk constantly until thick, smooth, and bubbling.
Bourbon Old Fashioned
When you get right down to it, the Bourbon Old Fashioned is little more than a slug of whiskey, seasoned and sweetened. Yet for all of its suave simplicity, the drink remains as relevant today as it was when it first captured drinkers’ hearts 200 years ago.
If you’re a history buff, you could draw a straight line connecting this drink to the first recorded definition of the cocktail category in general (circa 1806), which called for spirits, sugar, water and bitters. The Old Fashioned hits all those marks, with whiskey, sugar, water and aromatic bitters. You could also skip the history lesson and simply make the drink. Do the latter if you’re already thirsty.
Start by using good bourbon, the rule being that if you wouldn’t sip it by itself it has no place at the helm of a Bourbon Old Fashioned. (There are other whiskey drinks for masking subpar booze—this isn’t one of them.) From there, the cocktail-minded seem to break into two camps: simple syrup or muddled sugar.
While a barspoon of syrup can cut your prep time in half, it robs the drink of some of the weight and texture that provides its deep appeal. If you want to make the drink like they did back in the 19th century, granulated sugar or a sugar cube is the way to go. If you want to make the cocktail with more of a modern twist, opt for simple syrup. (Although what’s the big rush? The Bourbon Old Fashioned isn’t going anywhere.) Just know that simple syrup adds a bit more water to your drink, so you may need to adjust your ice and stirring accordingly.
Once you’ve mastered the Bourbon Old Fashioned, you can also try making the cocktail with rye whiskey, which results in a slightly spicier drink. Or you can use rum, brandy or any number of spirits—after all, the Old Fashioned is more of a template than an exact science. But there’s something about the bourbon-spiked version that drinkers have been coming back to for decades, so why mess with perfection?
Smoked Maple Old-Fashioned with Candied Bacon
The venerable Old-Fashioned the original whisky cocktail. Arguably, the finest whisky cocktail.
Created sometime in the early 19th century, it follows the classic cocktail formula (spirit, bitters, sugar, water) and has remained mostly unchanged for the last 200 years. Where legacy is concerned, the Old-Fashioned reigns supreme.
With the resurgence in cocktail popularity, the traditional version of this drink has been enjoying a well-deserved renaissance. Gone are the days of muddled fruit and seltzer water – we can safely relic those inferior recipes to the ’s memory bank, alongside neon ski-suits and insufferable synth-pop. Besides, this new crop of cocktail-aficionados prefer their drinks spirit-forward and unapologetic – something the Old Fashioned has in spades.
So how does one “improve” on such an iconic drink?
With Canada Day looming, we’ve taken this version of the classic and pushed it as far as our Canuck politeness will allow. We’ve chosen a bold & spicy 100% rye whisky that can stand tall against the strong flavours of maple. We’ve brought it to a new level with the addition of sweet, smoky applewood and have topped it off with a slice of deliciously-candied bacon.
While much of the world thinks of us as igloo-building, beaver-saving hockey players, this cocktail highlights some of our real attributes namely, the resourcefulness and ingenuity to showcase domestic ingredients and really make the most of them. This Smoked Maple Old-Fashioned might just become one of Canada’s best-known exports.
- ½ pound sliced bacon, cut crosswise into 1/2-inch strips
- ¼ cup vegetable oil
- ½ cup minced onion
- 1 pinch salt
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- ⅓ cup apple cider vinegar
- ¼ cup rice vinegar
- ½ cup water
- ½ cup white sugar
- 1 ½ tablespoons Dijon mustard
- ⅓ cup bacon drippings
- 2 teaspoons water
- 1 teaspoon cornstarch
- 1 pinch cayenne pepper
- salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1 pound baby spinach leaves
- 1 (15 ounce) can black-eyed peas, rinsed and drained
- 12 white button mushrooms, thinly sliced
- 1 cup sliced cherry tomatoes
Cook and stir bacon with 1/4 cup vegetable in a skillet over medium heat until bacon is browned and crisp, 5 to 7 minutes. Pour bacon into a strainer set over a bowl, reserving 1/3 cup of bacon drippings.
Return skillet to medium heat. Stir onions and salt into the skillet cook and stir until onions are golden brown, about 5 minutes. Stir in garlic cook, stirring constantly, until the garlic is fragrant and golden, 1 minute.
Stir cider vinegar, rice vinegar, 1/2 cup water, sugar, and Dijon mustard into onion mixture. Increase heat to medium-high and simmer.
Whisk 2 teaspoons water and cornstarch in a bowl. Gradually pour cornstarch mixture into onion mixture and whisk until thickened. 3 to 4 minutes. Reduce heat to low.
Drizzle reserved 1/3 cup bacon drippings into onion mixture, whisking constantly. Add cooked bacon and stir to combine. Season with cayenne pepper, salt, and black pepper to taste.
Combine spinach, black-eyed peas, mushrooms, and cherry tomatoes in a large bowl toss to combine. Drizzle hot bacon dressing over spinach mixture toss quickly and serve immediately.