Got a surprise late Christmas present delivered to the house on Friday. A gift selection of hickory-smoked bacon and smoked ham from Benton's Smoky Mountain Country Hams courtesy of Gia's folks.
I checked this place out about a year ago when I first started making bacon-infused bourbon because the original recipe from PDT in Manhattan used Benton's bacon.. But I didn't order it for some reason. And I'm a bit pissed at myself. Because this is easily the best bacon I've ever tried! I should have had it a year ago! Thick-cut with an incredible smoky flavor. Nothing even comes close. I honestly don't believe I'll ever buy another brand of bacon. It's THAT good.
I was amazed to see that the vacuum-packed yummies were shipped without refrigeration. It's because of the dry-cure process that Benton's uses. They say their bacon will last for 4-6 months in the original packaging in the refrigerator after shipping. I don't think it will last that long in our fridge...we are going to eat it up too quickly!
I slow-cooked it over low heat per the cooking instructions that came with the bacon. It resulting in a uniform and as hearty-looking a bacon as I have ever seen. I reserved the bacon fat to make some bacon bourbon. Well, since this is bacon from Tennessee I decided to use Tennessee Whisky instead. Good ole' George Dickel. And THAT was fantastic. Brought it over to my sister's house this weekend and made a few cocktails for her birthday.
My recommendation? Buy this bacon right now. You won't regret it.