Salted Rosemary Side Pork

Post image for Salted Rosemary Side Pork

by brenda on April 26, 2013

This is side pork. It looks like bacon, but a little fattier.

side_pork_uncured_bacon

We had our 3 American Guinea Hogs slaughtered a couple of weeks ago, and asked for nitrate free pork products. This was our first time going to this particular butcher shop, we’ve always gone somewhere else where they did a “salt cure” for us instead of a sugar & nitrate cure. We got our meat seller’s license and plan to sell our pork at farmer’s market this summer (YAY!), so we needed to go to an FDA inspected facility. It turns out, there are no FDA approved methods for curing pork without sugar. HELLO, people! Our Food and Drug Administration is *requiring* that bacon and ham have SUGAR in it. That is ridiculous, if you ask me. Anyways! The butcher told us that they could give us uncured bacon and ham if we wanted it nitrate free. I was glad to at least have some option!

When we got our pork, I was disappointed because there were no packages labeled “bacon.” None. What in the world did they do with our bacon? 😉 Well, it turns out, Side Pork is the FDA terminology for pork belly (bacon) that has not been cured. Alrighty then. I’m ok with that.

It’s a little different than bacon. It’s really good, too. It’s hard to explain. It is a little fattier, which could be disappointing to some people. (It could just be our breed of pig, also. American Guinea Hogs are fatty pigs). Don’t be afraid of fat though, k? Fat is good for you. It helps your body absorb and process essential vitamins. I believe that a diet without enough fat leads to mental illness and a whole host of other issues. (Look at the huge amount of anti-depresseants that people take these days…People are eating far less fat now days than traditional cultures ever ate..). I can feel it when I haven’t eaten enough fat. A salad with chicken breast & veggies is not enough for me. I have to add cheese and lots of olive oil and avocado and some olives…Then I’m good. 🙂 Eating more fat reduces cravings and regulates the blood sugar. So, people, this Side Pork stuff is actually a perfect human food.

This is really an easy recipe, but I wanted to share it.

Salted Rosemary Side Pork

 

 

1 lb side pork (aka uncured bacon)

1/4 to 1/2 tsp ground rosemary

1 small branch rosemary

good quality sea salt

 

I fried up the side pork just like I would fry up regular bacon. As it was cooking, I sprinkled ground rosemary and sea salt over it. Then I garnished it with fresh rosemary. See how pretty it looks?

 

Side pork creates a lot more “bacon grease” than typical bacon. I got about a cup of grease from about 1 lb of side pork. Nice! I use a metal strainer and a metal funnel and pour my grease into a glass jar and keep it in the fridge. It’s an awesome addition to soups (again, the more fat I add to my food, the fuller and more satisfied I feel). It’s great for making scrambled eggs, etc. You can melt it and add it to some vinegar and honey and make a yummy salad dressing. Try it! 🙂

 

Have you tried Side Pork or Uncured Bacon?

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Anonymous April 26, 2013 at 8:46 pm

I used to order uncured bacon from our CSA all the time, but the cost is prohibitive now. It was really good though 🙂 Your recipe looks yummy! I’d just add our pastured eggs and mmmmmmmm!

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Amy M April 27, 2013 at 8:28 am

This is the way we got ours the last time we had a pig processed… I was like “Heeeeeyyyyy…. where’s my BACON??” I’ve found that uncured like this I tend to burn it more easily (I kinda like burned bacon… but there has been a batch or two that even I couldn’t eat…) I stick it on a baking sheet at 300 degrees to cook it, because I can get it crispy without burning that way, sprinkle with salt, and voila… Yummy bacon and resulting liquid gold to cook with later! 🙂 I’ll try the rosemary… sounds delish!

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Yumabelle May 7, 2013 at 4:05 pm

I love bacon drippings, vinegar and sugar over spinach. My mother used to use loose leaf lettuce and heat these ingredients. She called it wilted lettuce. Yummy

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Anonymous November 17, 2013 at 4:04 am

Just came across this recipe recently, while wondering what to do with all the side pork we have left over from our last hog. Tried this the other night with sage instead of rosemary – Yum! Thanks for the tip!

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Charlorae June 11, 2014 at 12:05 pm

It. was. delicious. I got side pork instead of bacon with our pig over a year ago because I couldn’t decide how I felt about nitrates. The first time I made it, I was VERY turned off (hence why we still have some left over a year later). I love how simple this was. I simply added a little water to the pan to give it a little extra time for flavors to meld (just 5-10 extra min, covered). Next time I will not even second guess getting pork side instead of bacon. WHO KNEW ROSEMARY WAS SO TRANSFORMING? Between this recipe and my nod of approval to your take on healthy fats, I might have to stalk this page.

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