Whiskey-Flavored Pigs Are Here, And You Know What That Means: Whiskey Bacon!
You love whiskey, and you love bacon. Well now you can have them both in one tidy, delicious package: The Templeton Rye Distillery in Iowa is now breeding whiskey-flavored pigs. But it's not what you think — the pigs aren't getting hammered on bourbon and Cokes. Nope, they'll get their enhanced flavor from eating the same dry distillery grain that the company uses to make their signature whiskey.
The Templeton Rye Heritage Pork Project is now underway and has a very structured timeline. The breed was chosen back in October; the special grain was created in November and December; the lucky (or unlucky?) group of 25 piglets to be fed the grain was chosen in February; this month, you can actually request a pig, whether you're a chef or just an ambitious fellow who wants to host a pig roast in your backyard; and in June, the pigs will be ready for slaughtering (I know, I don't like thinking about this step of the process either) and made available to restaurants and the public.
The particular breed of pig selected is the Duroc, which the distillery's site describes as "very desirable as a feeder pig — producing tender, juicy pork with a rich flavor." Can I just take this time to apologize on behalf of my fellow carnivore humans who are too weak to resist the taste of meat, and to thank you for giving yourselves to the greater cause that is bacon?
So how did these wonderful geniuses at Templeton Rye come up with the idea? "We have a little motto here. My dad always told me, 'Nothing good happens after 12 p.m.' So, it seems like that's when this idea was probably thought of — after we had a few drinks,” the distillery’s co-founder Keith Kerkhoff told Iowa's WQAD. Not gonna lie — that sounds like the best job ever.
To celebrate these two loves of our lives — pork and whiskey — here are some dishes you could make with Templeton Rye's special whiskey-flavored pigs.
Whiskey-infused bacon is already huge on the foodie scene, and now you can skip the infusing process with Templeton Rye's pigs. Whiskey-flavored bacon is also surprisingly versatile. Look at the range of dishes you can make with it:
- Chocolate, caramel, marshmallow, whiskey bacon bark (did I just die and go to heaven?)
- Whiskey-bacon-coffee-infused maple syrup and pancakes (redefining "breakfast of champions")
- Whiskey bacon mac n cheese (this recipe uses Jack Daniel's, but just swap that out for Templeton Rye's bacon)
Our other favorite food on earth, sausage, also pairs well with whiskey. Here's what we would make:
- Bangers and mash (whiskey + bangers and mash? you'll feel like you're at the pub)
- Whiskey sausage apple stuffing (perfect for awkward family Thanksgivings)
- Cajun jambalaya (because whiskey sausage probably goes well with shrimp, right?)
You can't sacrifice a pig without making some ham with it. Here's how we'd eat whiskey-flavored ham:
- Hawaiian pizza (because pizza)
- Eggs Benedict (this is a new way to have a boozy brunch)
- Classic honey baked ham (can you imagine an entire whiskey-flavored ham glazed with honey? yes, you can)
Image: Nosh On It, Closet Cooking, No Recipes