Rachel's Table

Bacon, I’d Never Be Mad at You

Who needs March Madness when Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant offers a weekend of Bacon Madness? But as the title of this post states, I’d never be mad at bacon. Because bacon in its varying forms is everything a savory food indulgence should be: crispy, salty, and riddled with flavor and texture.

On Saturday, I indulged in the bacon-themed menu at Iron Hill’s Newark location. Before I show you luscious pork belly and perfect pig wings, let me introduce you to Grodziski. This interpretation of a classic Polish beer is brewed with a blend of smoked malt and malted wheat. The resulting beer is pleasantly smoky, slightly tart, and the ideal companion to bacon-inspired dishes.

Smoky, Smoky Beer

I’ve Got Smoke in my Eyes

I could spend some serious time here waxing eloquent and getting emotional about the three appetizers my dinner mates and I shared, but I think these photos speak volumes (of bacon).

Sake (To Me) Pork Belly Appetizer sake braised, soy glazed with ginger-carrot puree 
and micro wasabi greens

Sake (To Me) Pork Belly Appetizer
sake braised, soy glazed with ginger-carrot puree 
and micro wasabi greens

Keystone Cannibal baked potato stuffed with scrapple-yukon gold hash, 
sharp cheddar and topped with sour cream and hot chow chow

Keystone Cannibal
baked potato stuffed with scrapple-yukon gold hash, 
sharp cheddar and topped with sour cream and hot chow chow

Punisher Pig Wings habanero-cholula sauce, bacon-jalapeno coleslaw 
and cilantro-buttermilk ranch

Punisher Pig Wings
habanero-cholula sauce, bacon-jalapeno coleslaw 
and cilantro-buttermilk ranch

All three appetizers tasted of pig perfection, but my favorite was the Pig Wings, which I ate like a spicy, fall-apart pork lollipop.

Because the flavor of those Pig Wings lingered on my lips, I cheated when ordering my entree.  I veered off the Bacon Madness menu (but kept with the theme) and enjoyed the Barbecue Glazed Baby Back Ribs. My dinner dates, so impressed with the appetizers, stayed on the Bacon Madness course.

Iron Hill's wedge fries are everything you want a fry to be -crispy and perfectly salted

Iron Hill’s wedge fries are everything you want a fry to be -crispy and perfectly salted

Brazen Bratwursts ale braised then grilled, caraway buttered smashed yukon gold potatoes, 
sauerkraut and whole grain mustard

Snorkeling Pig Pot Pie
applewood smoked bacon, sea scallops, oyster mushrooms, 
pearl onions, potatoes, carrots, smoked wheat beer cream and flaky pastry top

Iron Hill Bratwerst

Brazen Bratwursts
ale braised then grilled, caraway buttered smashed yukon gold potatoes, 
sauerkraut and whole grain mustard

Even after all that bacon, we still had room for more. Enter the Maple Bacon Bread Pudding. Served warm with vanilla ice cream, 
candied cracklings and bourbon caramel sauce, it was like bacon, brunch, dessert, and Christmas converged, creating the world’s most lush pudding.

If a Bacon Madness bracket existed, Iron Hill Brewery and Restaurant would advance directly to the Championship Game.

Iron HIll Maple Bacon Bread Pudding

One pudding, three spoons

So tell me, what’s your favorite bacon indulgence? Have you ever had smoky beer? 

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28 comments

  1. I need those pork wings and the pot pie… Rauchbier is pretty famous in Germany – translates to “smoke beer.” The story I always heard was that monks did it for lent, when they couldn’t eat meat. Since Germans basically live on sausage, this was their substitute. I’ve had it more than a few times – good, but can’t imagine it would make me forget about meat. Quite the opposite, actually…

  2. Oh have mercy, I should not have read this while stuck in a waiting room with no food, let alone bacon.

    Every morsel of this looks amaaaaaazing, including that beer. Maple bacon bread pudding is a brilliant idea. I’ve still got the soft spot for the Vosges Mo’s bacon chocolate bars, but that bacon I just had in Seattle is topping the list until BaconFest.

    BTW I’m officially inviting myself down there for some of this food.

  3. It’s funny, a few years ago we were warned of a bacon shortage, but now bacon is as popular as that girl in middle school who outgrew her training bra first…
    I smell a bacon-wrapped conspiracy.
    Great post, by the way!

  4. Pingback: Time for dessert: How about some Coconut Ice Cream with Toffee and Pig Candy? » Sibling Rivalry

  5. Holy Pork! I have died and gone to heaven vicariously and virtually through you, Rachel! How did we on earth deserve to have such an establishment and bacon celebration?? What did we do right? Sigh. I never knew pigs had wings but no matter. I WANT WHAT YOU HAD! And the cilantro buttermilk ranch??? AY, Dios Mio! Cilantro and bacon together in my mouth. This is too much to handle.

  6. You’ve done it again, RP. Your writing is so good, I can almost taste that bread pudding. And really, there is nothing I like to indulge in more than a good glass of beer and bacon. Too bad my scale shows it.

    • D – you are petite and beautiful. I will hear none of this scale talk!

      But tell me, do you use the bacon as garnish for the beer or just crumble it directly into the glass??

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