There are many yearly events that are simply staples in the okPORK world. It’s easy to see that the annual Bacon & Bourbon dinner has become one of those events.
The venue, VAST, offers the tallest, most breathtaking views of the Oklahoma City metro area. Chef Kevin Lee’s prowess for preparing pork shines each year. And the crowd keeps growing.
“We’ve worked hard to keep the Bacon & Bourbon dinner consistent over the past six years,” said Roy Lee Lindsey, okPORK executive director. “And it has paid off. We have many friends that attend each year and also add new patrons each year. This year tickets sold out in record time.”
Along with the consistent venue and date for the event, Bacon & Bourbon fans always anticipate five amazing courses, each featuring pork and great bourbon pairings from Republic Distributing.
This year’s event started out strong with some Stuffed Bacon Wrapped Quail Cornbread. The tender, juicy quail meat mixed perfectly with the crispy bacon and the cornbread inside was full of flavor. The pairing of Old Forrester Statesman, a brooding dark chocolate with sweet cinnamon and smooth caramel notes, gave everyone the impression that this was going to be another spectacular dinner. They weren’t wrong . . .
Course two featured the Pork Belly Croquette Salad that included smoked onion vinaigrette, Carolina BBQ, arugula, radish and tomatoes. Everyone exclaimed that the flavor in the croquettes was outstanding. Old Forrester 1897 Bottle-in-Bond, a robust bourbon with intense caramel and rich vanilla notes and big, bold finish complemented the salad nicely.
Roasted pork belly and pork tenderloin were the stars of course three. Perfectly pink and flavored to perfection, the hunks of pork were accompanied by caramelized parsnips, sweet potato puree and bacon onion jam. Yes, this course featured a pork trio! Old Forrester 1920 Prohibition-Style with its intense cherry, caramel and dark chocolate notes with malt nuttiness was a great partner to the pork in this course.
After three courses featuring so much great pork, everyone was wondering how they’d make it through the TWO dessert courses. Nevertheless, once the Apple Tart with Burnt Honey Ice Cream appeared, everyone took a deep breath and decided to make it to the finish line. The rich fullness of the apple tart and smoothness of the ice cream was spectacular and a great way to enter the dessert phase of the night. Old Forrester 1870 Original Batch with its clove notes and a medley of citrus fruits went amazingly well with the apple dessert.
The final course, dessert deux, was a simple but spectacular candied bacon. The bacon was perfectly crispy and rich in sweetens. A perfect way to end an event named Bacon & Bourbon. Old Forrester Single Barrel topped of the night’s bourbon pairings perfectly.
We at okPORK vow to keep Bacon & Bourbon a pillar in our yearly calendar and are already planning for next year. Are you planning to join us in 2019? Don’t wait to get your tickets because they just might sell out again.