Heath, the guy who brought the mangalitsa pig to the US, has been offering us the bellies of his pigs to turn into our version of mangalitsa bacon. He knows that we love A & J’s bacon, the one Rick has been making forever, and he wanted us to smoke some of our own.
We finally found a little breathing room and went for it. Heath handed over a pork belly and a jowl and we handed them to Rick.
A hand off to Rick with the promise to smoke it at the next smokin’. About a week later, Rick gave me a call and asked me to come by to pick up the bacon … I did, a day later, with camera in hand. In the cooler, these beautiful smoked pork pieces look like works of art. A smooth, even look. Quite impressive!
Out-of-the-smoker Mangalitsa Pork The belly and Jowl
After a few snaps, Rick takes them down and cuts them into sections. Some for Heath and some for me. And then, he sliced a bunch for everyone to try.
I rushed home and I fried up a couple of slices. I chose to cook them up in a little lard in a big pan, rather than the preferred method of baking it in the oven. There is a lot of fat on this bacon and I wanted to take advantage of it. It was good … actually, it was great! There was a bit of crispy achieved, there was a bit of chewy that I liked, and the flavor was just right. Smoky-sweet, it really was a treat.
When I was done with the first batch, I was very pleased. The taste was good and not too salty, which is always a concern with bacon. And, there was no leftover feel in the mouth that you sometimes get with smoked meats. I am looking forward to testing more.
Sliced pork belly. Look at all that flavor! Mangalitsa bacon