Dogfish Head 2009 Pork Dinner Recap

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Last weekend I attended the Dogfish Heada Tribute to Pork Dinner” at the brewpub in Rehoboth Beach. Since Dogfish Head happens to be one of my favorite microbreweries I had really high expectations for this event. I would like to report that they blew me away.

The food and beer parings were perfect, I couldn’t believe how much the food changed the flavor of the beer and vice versa. I always knew an IPA went great with a Bacon Cheeseburger but who knew an Imperial Stout could take a Bacon Chocolate Cheesecake to the next level?

In this post I will cover each course and share with you as much as I can about the flavors. Since this was a food and beer event I am not sure how accurate my palate was near the end, but that’s all part of the fun.

Course One:
Charcuterie Platter
Charcuterie Platter – (Left to Right) Gentile Salami, Soppressata, and Picante Chorizo
Beer pairings – (Left to Right) Shelter Pale Ale, Grau Dunkel Weissenberg, and 90 Minute IPA

My Notes: Beer and Meat parings were right on. You were asked to try each meat with the beer paired with it first, then experiment with your own meat and beer pairings. When I did this I found that the ones they picked were the best. The Grau Dunkel Weissenberg was the closest thing to a bacon beer at the dinner since it had a nice smokey flavor. The 90 Min IPA is a beer I drink almost every weekend so I could tell how much it was changed by the pairing. The Shelter Pale had a bright and clean taste which was taken up a notch by the Gentile Salami.
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Bacon LIVE: Oscar Mayer’s Wicked Thick Bacon

On last night’s show Sean and I interviewed John Li, an Executive chef at Kraft foods. He gave us some great bacon stories and tips. I really hope to have him on the show again. Sean also shared with us a great holiday story called “It was the Night Before Bacon Fest”. I think we are going to try and make it an illustrated book.

Bacon LIVE 058:
I am still hard at work trying to bring back the MP3 version of the show.
Watch us on uStream.tv!

Show notes by Aaron Tucker:

  • Today’s show started with an interview with John Li from Kraft about the new Oscar Mayer Super-Thick Applewood Smoked Bacon!
  • Bacon tips from John:
    With thick bacon, cook it on medium-low in a pan or just lay it out in the oven and cook at 350 for 25 minutes or so for perfect bacon. For pan-cooking bacon, the most important thing is to not crowd the bacon! Freezing a few slices of raw bacon for easy access is a great idea, but don’t freeze cooked bacon, it won’t taste right later.
  • Hopefully John will be back for future episodes with more cool bacon info!
  • At 24 minutes in, we finally get to see the first taste test of the Oscar Mayer Super-Thick-Cut Applewood Smoked Bacon! The smell and taste were most excellent. Cooking it low and slow makes it crunchy on the outside and perfectly chewy on the inside! This could be the best store-bought bacon ever. There’s lots of better bacon, but truly great bacon is hard to come by unless you have $50 or more to pay for several pounds and some major shipping costs.
  • Mr. Baconpants discussed his upcoming trip this weekend to the Dogfish Head Brewery for a 5-course pork dinner with special beers for each course.
  • Today’s first video segment was a kid way too excited about getting a Nintendo Wii.
  • The second video of the day was Chatham County Line playing Bacon in the Skillet. It was a pretty good music video, but not as cool as the kid getting a Wii.
  • At the end of the show Sean brought out some Christmas bacon poetry. Just go watch it. Now!
  • Read all the Tucker’s notes @ I <3 Bacon Salt.

Watch LIVE Wednesdays at 7 pm EST, go to our show page for details!

Oscar Mayer supplied the bacon for us to review and they setup the interview with John Li. Just so where are all on the same page be sure to read my disclosure policy. My opinions are never swayed by free bacon.

Spicy Candied Bacon Opens the Door to Endless Flavor Country

Chili_PowderOur friends at Serious Eats posted a bacon recipe last month that slipped past my radar. Luckily Aaron from I <3 Bacon Salt bought it to my attention. The recipe is for Red Chili Sugar-Coated Bacon and it’s made with applewood smoked bacon. Which is great since Oscar Mayer’s just recently sent me a few packages of applewood bacon, so I will have to give this one a try.

If this works out, I think this year I am going to give friends and family candied bacon instated of cookies. The recipe has opened my eyes to all sorts of candied bacon combinations. You could make amaretto, almond, apple, and cherry flavored bacon. Basically I believe you could use just about any flavoring you could find in a powder form.

To know if my plan will work it’s going to take some experimenting. I just hope I have time to find the powders and whip up a few test batches. I will keep you posted as this story develops.

Dogfish Head Brewery Pork Dinner on Dec. 13

dogfishOne of my favorite breweries, Dogfish Head, is having a five course pork dinner and I am invited. I can’t wait to enjoy my two favorite things at the same time, pork and beer! I even gave them advice on were to get their bacon for the dinner.

I will be documenting the dinner the best I can, but since every course is served with a beer I am not making promises. I may forget to take photos after the third or fourth course.

If you want to join me there is still time to buy your tickets and plan a trip to the beach. Since it’s the off season hotels are reasonable. Not sure what else there is to do at the beach when it’s cold but I plan to find out. Check out all the details below.

Pork, The Other White Meat
Dec 13, 2009 – 6:30pm
Dogfish Head Brewings & Eats – Rehoboth Beach DE

Menu:

  • Course One – Charcuterie Platter- A Sampling of Dried Sausages and Salamis
    Served with Shelter Pale Ale, Grau Dunkel and 90 Minute IPA
  • Course Two – Arugula and Spinach Salad with Chorizo and a Mango Dressing
    Served with 60 Minute IPA
  • Course Three – Dates Filled with Goat Cheese and Wrapped in Prosciutto
    Served with Indian Brown Ale
  • Course Four – Bacon Wrapped Pork Tenderloin in Raison Reduction with Cheddar Bacon Grits
    Served with Raison D’Etre
  • Course Five – Chocolate Bacon Cheesecake
    Served with World Wide Stout

Reservations are required. Each dinner is $57.00 per person (including gratuitues). Seating for each dinner is limited. To buy your tickets, please call 302-226-BREW, send an email (Matt {at} dogfish {dot} com), or visit dogfish.com!

*Menus are subject to change based on availability and artistic license.

Bacon LIVE: Sean and I disagree about J&D’s New Bacon POP

On this week’s show Sean and I review J&D’s Bacon POP. I thought it had the perfect amount of bacon flavor but Sean thought differently. I plan to write a full review next week, but you can watch the show to find out what we both think about it.

I am also trying to bring back the MP3 version of the show back. I know a few people like to listen to the show at work and on their iPods. Once I figure out how to fix this I will go back and add it to all the past shows. Hang in there.

Bacon LIVE 057:
I am still hard at work trying to bring back the MP3 version of the show.
Watch us on uStream.tv!

Show notes by Aaron Tucker:

  • Today, Mr. Baconpants and Sean started the show discussing the new Oscar Mayer thick-cut applewood smoked bacon. It’s decent bacon and it’s not too expensive!
  • Our hosts tried to find a retro bacon commercial, but had some serious technical difficulties. Youtube has let us down once again.
  • Our hosts brought up the Mountain Products Smokehouse many flavors of wonderful bacon, but it’s so hard to get it when you need it, so be sure to search your stores for new bacon. If they don’t have what you want, fill out a customer product request! Stores actually take these little slips of paper seriously most of the time.
  • Sean brought up cooking a slab of bacon. Just steam the whole thing or roast it in the oven! You could marinate it in all kinds of things and invent the next great bacon recipe!
  • Read the rest of Aaron’s show notes here!

Watch LIVE Wednesdays at 7 pm EST, go to our show page for details!

Oscar Mayer Super Thick Cut Applewood Smoked Bacon

Oscar-Mayer-Super-Thick-Cut-Bacon-PackageOscar Mayer just sent me an email to inform me about their new Thick Cut Applewood Bacon. I have yet to try it so they’re going to send me some this week. They are also giving me some coupons for free bacon so you guys can try it too. It’s going to be a twitter contest so if you’re not following @MrBaconpants already you better start.

If you don’t want to wait you can pick it up now at your local grocery store. It should only set you back $4.50 for 9 slices per 16 ounce package.

Oscar Mayer says the new bacon is inspired by the same taste and quality you would expect from a restaurant. They smoke the pork bellys for hours with real Applewood chips, which is pretty impressive since it cost under $5. They also say its “super thick”, which means it’s twice as thick as their regular cut. Sean and I have tasted thick restaurant quality bacon before so I am excited to see how this stuff stands up to those claims.

I have a feeling this is Oscar Mayer’s (Kraft Foods) answer to Wright Brand Bacon (Tyson) bigger better bacon ad campaign. This is a good sign for bacon lovers. It means the national brands are starting to notice that we demand a better cut of bacon. We are all turning into a nation of bacon snobs, and that’s a good thing.

I am a fan of the Oscar Mayer’s Center Cut bacon in the plastic container. It’s what I buy if I am in a pinch and need to buy a national brand. With that said I hope the new bacon doesn’t let me down. It will be nice to have a premium option that’s available at most stores. I do like the Wright Brand bacon but I only seem to find it at Wal-Mart, which is one store I try to avoid (it’s a long story).

If you have tried this bacon already let us know what you think about it. Does it live up to the hype? Is it better or the same as other national brand thick cut bacon? Share via the comments.

Thanksgiving, it’s all about the Bacon

The “Its all about the bacon” thumblr blog has been posting Thanksgiving bacon photos for the past few weeks. Some of the photos look downright delicious.

Food101NOV092

The photo above is Pumpkin soup with bacon. You can check out the recipe for it at Furey and the Feast. It has a lot of ingredients and only six steps. I am not sure if that means it’s easy or hard to make. Maybe next year I will try to make this since I enjoy a good pumpkin soup. I have had two different ones this year but sadly none of them included bacon.

Be sure to check out more of the Thanksgiving Bacon photos here. If you have photos of your own Thanksgiving bacon creations please share them with us via an email or comment.