Monday, April 27, 2009

Mangalitsa Bacon

Barnaby Dorfman, bacon maker and startup founder, gave me some (purebred) Mangalitsa bacon. Having had Mangalitsa bacon made by The French Laundry's Devin Knell and The Herbfarm's Keith Luce, it was neat to see what my regular customers make at home from Mangalitsa.

It doesn't look or taste like normal bacon. Just like Mangalitsa belly, it is almost entirely fat. This is one reason why seam butchery is so important - removing the meat from the ribs and leaving it on the belly makes the Mangalitsa bacon a lot more meaty.

It was some incredible bacon! The fat and flavor was delicious. Barnaby's wasn't too salty, and it had a nice smoky taste.
I cooked slices of the bacon in a pan and added some greenbeans I'd sauteed in mangalitsa lard and garlic. It was very satisfying. It didn't take much bacon to turn a tasty dish into a real treat. The fat quality was much higher than that of the bacon (made from Berkshire hogs) that I used to produce, sell and eat.

People say the Mangalitsa makes great bacon. Indeed it does. Like Mangalitsa in general, it is excellent, but is so different from all other kinds of readily available pork that it belongs in its own category.

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