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Bacon-Wrapped, Andouille-Stuffed Dates with Pecan Romesco Sauce

Ramona King

Bacon-Wrapped, Andouille-Stuffed Dates with Pecan Romesco Sauce


7 smoky and sweet dishes that'll pair perfectly with a two-finger glass of bourbon

A true Southern original, bourbon captures some of our absolute favorite flavors in a glass — from dark, rich sweet notes to smoky and complex aromas — and eating a meal that complements the drink only helps to enhance its flavor. 

To get you started, here are seven of our favorite recipes to pair with a good glass of Southern bourbon:

Bacon-Wrapped, Andouille-Stuffed Dates with Pecan Romesco Sauce
Stuffed and wrapped dates, the ubiquitous Mediterranean appetizer, get a spicy Southern twist in this recipe thanks to andouille sausage, bacon and a smoky dipping sauce. To help the bacon crisp up in the oven, run the back of your knife along each strip before wrapping, in order to make it thinner. 
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Country Ham and Biscuit Sandwiches
Get inspired for a bourbon-themed party with our country ham and biscuits spread, perfect for dressing up with a whole country ham, or assembled on a rustic cutting board for a more casual gathering. We like to serve our sandwiches with a host of various handmade or storebought jams and jellies, which will all cut through the salty ham and rich biscuits, while at the same time being a perfectly sweet compliment to your glass of bourbon.
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Instant Pot Collard Greens
Sitting over the stove for hours to make collard greens will be a distant memory when using an Instant Pot — using pressure in a moist environment creates quick and perfectly tender greens in just 20 minutes. Just think of all of the extra time you'll have for bourbon tastings! Don't forget to add the rendered bacon fat; it'll bring smoky richness that will compliment the sweet brown sugar and the tangy vinegar. 
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Fire-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pecans
Smoky fire-roasted sweet potatoes pair perfectly with toasted pecans to create a creamy and deeply flavorful side, which can easily be made ahead of time and reheated when it's time to eat. 
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Cast Iron Pork Chop with Red-Eye Gravy
We up the flavor of a classic red eye gravy recipe by adding some savory country ham, which gives the sauce a nice pop of smoky and sweet notes that pair perfectly with a beautifully seasoned pork chop — and your glass of bourbon. Thanks to the heat retention of cast iron, the pork chops will turn out perfectly seared. We recommend serving this dish with some grits, biscuits or both! 
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Low and Slow Braised Beef Brisket
This no-fail, fall-apart tender dish will be the perfect meaty centerpiece to a bourbon food fest, and it gets a tasty kick with a secret ingredient: Cajun seasoning. This brisket requires at least 12 hours of oven time, so feel free to cook it up ahead of time and reheat in the oven before dinner. (Or use a slow cooker for a no-fuss approach.)
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Southern Kitchen's Pecan Pie
There’s nothing more decadent, and more perfect for ending your a bourbon-filled meal, than a good old-fashioned pecan pie — our version will satisfy even the most diehard pie obsessives. To save time, you can use store-bought crust, but our version is as easy as, well, pie.
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Photo credit (Country Ham and Biscuit Sandwiches, Instant Pot Collard Greens, Southern Kitchen's Pecan Pie): Ramona King 
Photo credit (Fire-Roasted Sweet Potatoes with Pecans): Maura Freidman 
Photo credit (Cast Iron Pork Chop with Red-Eye Gravy): Idebar Austin
Photo credit (Low and Slow Braised Beef Brisket): Sandor Welsz

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Dena Rayess is a recipe editor and cookbook author based in San Francisco. She enjoys exploring new foodways in and around the Bay Area and beyond, and has been known to whip up a mean house cocktail at dinner parties.