Side Pork

I was given some sliced side pork, which looks like this-sliced bacon. I tried frying a piece like bacon, and it was...not good. Or at least not bacon, which is what I was somewhat foolishly expecting.

Does anyone have any suggestions on how to use this stuff? I've got about a pound. I guess I could use it in baked beans, but a girl can only eat so many baked beans, you know?



Mandy E. March 27, 2019
I love fresh side pork. I assume it’s mainly used in the South, because my grandmother and my mom used it. I cut the meat into slices and fry it like regular bacon. Salt and pepper it, because it’s not as salty as bacon. I really like fresh side pork with biscuits and gravy which is made from the pork’s drippings. It tastes wonderful. I can’t find it very often here in Washington state.
Patti October 22, 2017
I have eaten this for years. Cover a baking sheet with foil. Lay slices of side pork on it and salt liberally. Bake in a 300 degree oven about 30 minutes. About halfway through cooking, turn and salt the other side. Bake for about 30 minutes. This is where you can cook longer to make it crisper. I like it when the fat is transparent and it's crispy.
jakestavis October 1, 2017
bumping this thread because I've also bought some side pork on a whim...

I was planning to make Meera Sodha's pork cheek vindaloo ( SO good) but they didn't have any jowls at the market. Do you think I could swap the side pork instead and proceed as written? And would it be better to cut it before braising or let it braise in one piece?

I've made this recipe a number of times with jowls as written, except that I finish in a low oven rather than on the stove top.

Liz C. September 3, 2017
I know this is an old thread but I arrived here with the same question so I thought I'd add what I've learned so far. I, too, have a bunch of side pork after having a pig butchered. We tried it on its own and its kinda gross. It's mostly fat so I think it's better as a flavouring ingredient and not a starring role. I used it in Maine baked beans and it was great but I skimmed off a lot of fat which I don't think is necessary when you use the traditional salt pork. Next I'm going to try using it in New Mexican green chili stew. I think I will braise it like carnitas first, then pour off the fat before building the stew. Can anyone think of other dishes with a supporting pork role?
sonya August 11, 2015
You could try curing your own bacon? Side pork is basically meat from the pork belly that is uncured.
Jenny U. August 11, 2015
My mom floured it and fried it, and i'm sure if you seasoned it with your favorite seasonings it would taste better.
I like it more than bacon.
petitbleu June 12, 2013
Sounds like you might have fatback, which tends to be really fatty and incredibly salty. My dad loves the stuff, but I can't stomach it on its own. It's a great seasoning for beans, greens, soups and stews, and even cornbread.
Kristen M. June 11, 2013
My grandmother has cooked thinly sliced "fresh side", rind included, for breakfast for decades. She dredges it in flour, salt, and pepper and shallow-fries it in a little Wesson oil. Then she uses the drippings to make gravy to pour over biscuits. It's so good that I'm actually unhappy with sausage gravy most of the time -- you've been warned!
HalfPint June 11, 2013
Also, Dubu Kimchi,
It's really good, as long as you like kimchi.
HalfPint June 11, 2013
Braise it,
pierino June 11, 2013
The reason it doesn't taste like bacon is because it's not cured/smoked. You need to put some elbow grease into it. Pork belly, as savorthis noted is a staple in Asian cuisines. Here's my own recipe for pork shoulder which you can reverse engineer back to pork belly But if you are ambitious you could also smoke it outside over a WOOD charcoal fire.
savorthis June 11, 2013
I once did a tamarind-marinated thinly sliced pork belly that we grilled and it was wonderful. That might work! We served it on rice with chopped green onions, peanuts, pickled veggies, lime, cilantro and sambal.
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