We put up 20 Irvings Farm Fresh pork jowls December 11, and it’s finally at a place I’d hope it would get – nearly 2 months later. Dense, with a light high-toned loveliness imparted by dry curing pork.
The verdict? Sliced thinly and fried is a bacon-like experience that is lovely indeed. It fried up extremely fast [low moisture?], and my meat-hating-toddlers happily devoured their ‘spaghetti-and-bacon’. This particular variation [we did 4] was herbed [from my garden], and I think the herbs are a worthwhile addition. My conclusion simply supports my previous conclusion that jowls, and the rest of the pig head for that matter, hitting the local butcher shop bin is nothing short of sinful waste. It’s a shame. And one of those opportunities for budget minded locavores that I seek – you want cheap or in some cases even free local, ethically raised pork? It can be done.
My honesty-bone requires that I divulge that the crunchy jowl fat texture in its uncooked form is not my favorite. But that’s just me, and palates vary widely. The bottom line I’m finding is that pork is pork, whether from the head, belly, or leg when it comes to flavor. So long as there’s enough fat to bring flavors to the party, the whole hog is all good, in my opinion. Which brings me back to: if it’s tasty pork, why are we throwing it out? I think lack of awareness is the answer. Ask your local pork producer for pig head, and cheap, and you should be able to score some majorly cheap but tasty locavore eats.