Mangalista Bacon

by Kyle Cooper
Posted on

How to get the most out of your Mangalista Bacon:

Despite everything your eyes and brain will tell you, ripping the package open and throwing ALL THE BACON on the skillet is not the best way to get the most out of your Mangalitsa bacon.  Due to it's high fat to lean ratio, it does not pan fry like traditional bacon and might be unpalatable. 

While an exceptionally lean piece of Mangalitsa bacon can be baked like traditional bacon, often times you'll want to use it as a cooking and flavoring agent.


Here are our top recommendations on how to get the most out of your Mangalitsa bacon:

Render it!:  Slice the bacon into 1" wide strips and place into a small pot on low.  Cook gently while occasionally stiring (to prevent burning; a splash of water can help with this) the strips until they have appeared to release all of their fat and start to brown, about 30 mins.  Once the strips take on a light golden color, strain the bacon out and reserve the fat.  Strain fat through cheese cloth or a coffee filter and refrigerate in an air tight container.  This secondary strain is not mandatory but will help the lard keep longer.  Congrats, you just made lard!  Err on the side of under-cooked to help prevent burning; this will ruin your lard.  Save or snack on the bacon if you want and use the lard in recipes that call for it (tamales, tortillas, etc.) or as a fat to cook EVERYTHING.  Scrambled eggs in Mangalitsa lard might just change the way you see the world. 

Add salty flavor to sauces and stews: Cut into thin slices and add to pasta sauces, chili and pot roasts to add a decadent, salty flavor.  Hold off on using table salt in these dishes until after you add the Mangalitsa bacon to help prevent over-salting.

Larding and "Barding":  Larding is a French method of adding additional fat to otherwise lean cuts of meat.  Traditionally, roasting was done on a rotating spit, allowing the naturally occurring fat to baste the meat as it turns.  Without a spit, a similar affect can be accomplished by draping the bacon strips over the roast (Barding) or threading strips of fat through the meat using a larding needle (Larding).  No larding needle? Yeah... me neither.  Freeze your bacon strips and cut into sharp triangles.  Use a paring knife to cut deep slits, perpendicular to the grain of the meat and insert the frozen triangles and roast away.

Welcome to your new life as a Mangalitsa enthusiast.  We're glad to have you.

 

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