Boozy ham launched by Northern Irish processors

Two Northern Irish food processors have joined forces to develop a new innovative pork product. 

Co Tyrone-based Kennedy Bacon has teamed up with Long Meadow Cider at Loughgall in Co Armagh to create a dry-cured ham cooked in craft cider.

“We’ve been looking at a number of products that will help set us apart in what is a very competitive marketplace in Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland,” said Mervyn Kennedy, founder and managing director of Kennedy Bacon, winner of a UK Great Taste Award.

“While we’ve built up a reputation as a supplier of dry-cured bacon, gammon and ham, we recognised that something new was required. I met Pat McKeever of Long Meadow Cider at a show and started a conversation about co-operating to add further value to our ham. We began exploring cider in the cooking process and it proved successful in terms of providing a deliciously different taste.”

Kennedy is a third-generation farmer with over 2,000 pigs. His bacon, gammon and ham products are supplied to delis and independent retailers.

“What helps to set my pork products apart is my unique dry-curing technique,” he added. “It’s my own recipe from my experience of rearing my own pigs. I also slice, prepare and package the products. This means the entire process is under my control, ensuring quality and provenance. My bacon, for example, is cured for between seven and nine days, using my recipe, which also takes into account current health concerns particularly about salt and sugar.”

Kennedy explained that the bacon he produces is cured in as near to the traditional way as possible, using the minimum amount of cure, leaving the bacon less salty. “The result is a tasty product that allows the pan/grill to stay clean. And with no water added the bacon tastes as it should – savoury, yummy and moreish.”

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