Bacon and Legs – Ron Swanson’s Unexpected Pleasures

Fontina Turner

Fontina Turner

Ron Swanson is a man full of manliness. Not a single one of you is more masculine than he is. Not one. (Except maybe Nick Offerman.) He likes steak and whiskey, he hates the government and showing emotion.

If you are a Parks and Rec fan, you are a Ron Swanson fan. I have no doubt. But what I love most about Ron is when he is out of his element. When he’s playing sax as Duke Silver or when he’s being corrupted by Tammy 2.

There are a couple of very specific instances that I’m pulling from for this week’s recipe. In the episode “The Fight,” Tom Haverford unveils his new beverage, Snake Juice at the Snakehole Lounge. It’s a “high-end Kahlua-style liqueur” that is potent enough to get the great Ron Swanson drunk. Although he doesn’t get hungover, we get to see him pretty fucking trashed. So yeah, obviously I had to make that. It’s simple, whiskey and two liqueurs and it’s actually really tasty. It’s sweet AND strong.

“Give me a shot of Snake Juice, I hear it has a dope aftertaste.” – Ron

The other piece of culinary craziness that brings Ron out of his element is in the episode “Flu Season” when he bonds with Andy, who is filling in as his assistant. Though Ron doesn’t “much go for ethnic food”, Andy tells him that there is a restaurant called Big Head Joe’s that has a burrito called the Meat Tornado. It literally killed a guy, last year. So. Um. Yeah. I obviously had to make that too. I have included four kinds of meat (one of which is whiskey-marinated), cheese, sour cream and bourbon-bacon guacamole.

“You had me at Meat Tornado.” – Ron

Be a man and step outside your comfort zone, friend. Treat yo’self.

Snake Juice


  • 1 part whiskey
  • 1 part Frangelico
  • 1 part creme de cacao

Mix. Serve over two ice cubes in a double old fashioned glass.

Meat Tornado


  • 6 large tortillas
  • 1/2 lb steak, cut into bite-sized chunks
  • 1 batch whiskey marinade (recipe below)
  • 2 c. prepared pulled pork, store bought or homemade
  • 1/2 lb. ground beef
  • 1/4 c. sweet taco seasoning (recipe below)
  • 1/4 c. water
  • 1/2 lb. chorizo, sliced
  • 2 cups cheddar cheese
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1 batch bacon bourbon guacamole (recipe below)
  • 6 jalapeño slices

1. Marinate the steak in the whiskey marinade for 2-8 hours, covered and refrigerated.
2. Once the steak is whiskey-fied, pull it out of the fridge and preheat a skillet over medium heat. Pull steak out of marinade and plop in pan. Stirring occasionally, cook until cooked through, around 5-7 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside.
3. Next cook the ground beef, breaking it up with a spatula. Once it’s cooked through (5-7 minutes), drain off oil. Stir in water and taco seasoning. Simmer for another 5 minutes or until the liquid is mostly dissolved and you’re left with yummy seasoned beef.
4. Cook up the chorizo. Dump it in a skillet over medium heat and cook until browned on the outside and cooked all the way through, 8-10 minutes.
5. Start assembling your burritos. You may want to heat your tortillas on the stove top for 15 seconds or so per side to make them plyable. Cheese, ground beef, steak, pulled pork, chorizo, more cheese, sour cream and guacamole.
6. Fold the burrito up. Preheat a clean, dry skillet over medium heat. Place your burritos in the skillet to crisp up the tortilla. Cook 1-2 minutes per side, or until you get a nice crispy brown layer. You may need to do these two at a time.
7. Serve with a spoonful of pulled pork over the top and a slice of jalapeño.
8. Have a heart attack and enjoy.


This is an excessive recipe by nature. If you’d like to take a couple of shortcuts in order to make it easier, by all means. You can buy pre-made guacamole and add bacon and a splash of bourbon. You can buy taco seasoning and add a tsp or two of brown sugar. You can buy bottled marinade and add a guzzle of whiskey. You can buy pre-cooked chorizo. I’m not guaranteeing the exact results as this recipe, but I’m sure it would still be delicious. It’s a handful of meat and brown liquor for god’s sake.

Bacon Bourbon Guac


  • 2 avocados, removed from shell and mashed with a fork
  • 1/2 lime, juiced
  • plenty of salt and pepper
  • 1 /2 lb bacon, cooked and crumbled
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 tbsp bourbon (I used Knobb Creek 120 proof)
  • 1 /4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1 /2 tsp cumin

In a bowl, combine all of your ingredients with a fork. Cover tightly with saran wrap until ready to use.

Whiskey Marinade
(Recipe adapted from


  • 1/2 c whiskey (I used rye)
  • 1/2 c brown sugar
  • 1/4 c olive oil
  • 2 tbsp soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp garlic
  • 1 tbsp salt
  • 1 tbsp pepper

Combine all ingredients in a bowl. Whisk until completely combined.

Sweet Taco Seasoning


  • 2 tbsp dried onion
  • 2 tbsp brown sugar
  • 2 tsp Mexican oregano
  • 2 tsp smoked paprika
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/2 tsp lemon zest

With a fork, combine all ingredients in a bowl. Store leftovers in a ziploc bag.

Fontina Turner, a food blogger and graphic designer from Philadelphia, makes classy-as-fuck comfort food and consumes an unhealthy amount of cheeses and craft beers. She can be found in the kitchen, at the bar, on Twitter or trying to make H. Jon Benjamin love her. Contact her at

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