Notes on the Pork Belly

Some time back I wrote of Tuan's aspirations for making his own bacon. I am pleased to report success! We watched Alton Brown make bacon, then consulted several sources online. Tuan decided a warm smoking method was what he wanted to use. Using a gift card and some extra funds, we purchased a smoker, then went in pursuit of a source for pork belly.

Fortunately, Crystal Springs has a slaughterhouse/butcher market called Wilson's. It was a fun trip for the boys and I let them go without Aubrey and I. Even a clean butcher shop would have offended my then 35/36 week preggo sensibilities! Over seven days, Tuan carefully rubbed the pork with salt and finally smoked it.

The results: pretty good! It was a bit saltier than we would have chosen, but the saltiness actually keeps us from overindulging. It's a fantastic complement to grits, eggs, pimiento cheese and the like. Knowing that it is free of "other" stuff like sodium nitrate is wonderful! We also had plenty of salt pork and "cracklins" to stock our freezer with. I've been adding the salt pork to the purple hull peas Tuan also picked up at Wilson's and made some cracklin' bread a few times. Also, because the pork was smoked using heat, it is cooked through and I don't have to panic and fastidiously wash my hands when cooking with it. I am OCD about kitchen germs and not much else. : )

We are reading through Little House in the Big Woods and I have to say I felt a certain kinship with the Ingalls family as I read about their own salting and smoking of meat.


Roberdeau said...

one of the funniest pictures i've seen in a while

Amanda said...

Great comparison with Little House in the Big Woods. I'm still intrigued by their making a balloon out of a pig's bladder!

Maybe that can be your next blog post?