As you know we are both big supporters of good local produce and as well as eating, we like to promote what’s good and great right on our doorstep. Indeed great is exactly what we found last week when we visited local bacon producer Piggery Smokery. Husband and wife team, Mark & Susan, cure and smoke their bacon from their home in the town of Alford in Aberdeenshire.
Susan welcomed us into her home and over a cup of coffee we chatted about bacon, their business and food in general. The couple started trading 7 years ago, when after making bacon for themselves, friends started asking if they could make for them too, then their friends friends wanted in on the action, with interest escalating the couple thought “perhaps we can do this as a business”. Mark attended a 2 week long charcuterie course in Italy as he wanted reassurance that they were doing everything right, which they were. So after some jiggery pokery with spice mixes Piggery Smokery came to be and having tasted their produce we’re really glad it did! This is proper bacon, not salty, not pumped full of water – all this bacon needs is a dry frying pan, cooked quickly, 90 seconds each side and you’re done! Bacon done to perfection!
The couple use pork loin supplied by both their local butcher Graeme Barbour and local pig farmer Ian Davidson of Mossies Pork. A two week process sees the pork loins being cured in their own “secret” spice blends, regular massage to ensure the flavours permeate the meat, smoked in their smoker in the back garden and packaged and labelled in their kitchen. The company has grown by reputation and depends on direct sales from their website.
There are currently 7 flavours available at the moment, but they still continue to experiment. Whilst we were visiting we were lucky enough to sample their new Christmas flavoured back bacon “Wise Man’s Compass” which will feature in their “Xmas Dinner Kit” boxes, along with smoked maple lardons, smoked plain streaky, Sweet Beaver breakfast bacon and ultra thin Dark Dubhloch. Order are now being taken for these boxes, and all their other products direct from their website. We have both placed our orders!
Susan generously sent us on our way with a bag of mixed flavours of bacon, which if we manage not to eat all on our own, we plan to use to create some recipes in the coming weeks. So watch this space.
Big thank you to Susan for her hospitality, a thoroughly enjoyable morning and we wish Susan and Mark every success going forward.2