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By 2g1c2 girls 1 cup

Show Me The Belly!


Can't get any better than this.....

Can't get any better than this.....

Flashback to 2007! (insert trippy graphics and sound effects here!)


OK, so those who know me understand that I like Bacon. Those same folks also know that when I get into the kitchen, I don’t do things halfway or make anything easy for myself. When I decide to do something with food, it is never simple nor it is in small batches.

This was the case with Bacon. When I first decided to make it, the butcher shop at my local gourmet store was my first stop. “Do you have Pork Belly?” I ask – “Sure, we can order it – $7.50 a pound.” Huh? I am paying more for the Belly than what it would cost for me to buy the finished product? But I am a sucker, so I went for it. When the pork belly arrived, it was about an inch thick at its thickest point. This was NOT what I imagined. Off It went to the kitchen to cure, then to the smoker to smoke, then to the pan to cook – It was just OK. Between the practically miniscule piece of pork that cost more than already cured “boutique bacon” and the enthusiasm of a first-timer deciding to mix-and-match recipes to get the perfect balance (Garlic and Maple flavors go together, right?), the final product was as you would imaging – Ug!

Jump ahead to few months later – I’m wandering the aisles of my new favorite Asian market, Super H Mart, after a quick bowl of Kim-Chee soup, and what do I spy in the corner of my eye? Packages of cut-up Pork Belly, shrink-wrapped in the butcher case! So I knock on the door of the meat department – The guy that answers speaks NO English. Ok, so I grab a pack of belly and use hand signals to convey what I need. He nods his head, says something I don’t understand, and shuffles into the back. I wait.

And wait.

And wait. After what seem eternity, he comes out empty-handed and my heart sinks! but he motions for me to follow him into the back, and I do. Now most people don’t get to see where their meat comes from (which is probably a good thing), but I arrive into an extremely well-lit, very clean back area with the usual saws, knives, etc – and about 10 dudes running around doing their, well, “butchering” on all sorts of machines that remind me of shop class in high school – not what I expected at all. No blood, no smell, and It looked like everyone still had 10 fingers.

My little friend then shows me to his table. There, spread out in all it’s glory, is a big old pork belly with the ribs still attached (Sorry – no camera then!) Through more hand signals – Think of “karate Kid” and not the ‘wax on” part, I understand that the butcher wants to know if I want it with or without ribs (without please – Lets try to keep it simple this time!) After about 2 minutes of cutting and wrapping, I am handed my new bundle of joy. The best part, though is is price – $1.10 a pound! Now this is something I can afford without having to hire the Pups out as sled dogs in the winter!

I should have taken a photo of the whole belly – But by the time I though to grab the camera, I had already neatly cut it into 2 big squares ready for curing and smoking. Yes, I was a BIT excited when I got home that day and couldn’t wait to start, as you could probably imagine.

More on bacon later – In the meantime, you can check out the Photos

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