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Mar 23, 2007 04:19 PM

Is there such a thing as "beef bacon"?

Or, what's the equivalent of bacon for beef?

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  1. Yes. I know it is popular in some Muslim countries (Malaysia for one), for obvious reasons. Personally, all the beef bacon I've had isn't very good -- and it's a very poor substitute for the joy of pork...

    1. Growing up, we'd occasionally have something called "breakfast beef". I think the cut is from the plate. I remember it being quite delicious....never had bacon so I can't compare, but the same adjectives- smoky, crisply fatty- come to mind. I don't remember much about the packaging except that it was very minimal- white cardboard, red and blue lettering,and I think there was a picture of a cow on it. :)

      4 Replies
      1. re: 4Snisl

        A friend is a Muslim so I know you can buy it at Halal stores. IIRC, there are some regular supermarket brands too. It is usually from the flank, from my understanding.

        What I've tried is similar in taste to pork bacon. It usually is smokier and browner. Often it is leaner. It is more chewy that crisp I think the extra smoke is to give it a taste similar to the pork version.

        Here's some pictures.

        1. re: rworange

          Here are some pics, if you're in the GTA you can get it at "east meats west" meat shop, google it.

          1. re: BamiaWruz

            GTA? What does this stand for? I'm VERY Curious because I know of a GTA "organization". That's why I'm asking. :D

            1. re: EmmaBarbara

              I assume in this case it means Greater Toronto Area.

      2. There is a product in kosher food markets called breakfast beef or beef fry (frye). It is very close in both taste and texture to pork bacon.

        1. What part of the cow would it come from, if it were equivalent? The brisket?

          5 Replies
          1. re: kindofabigdeal

            Dunno. Beef belly ... is that brisket meat?

            Some people consider corned beef (or even pastrami) to be the beef equivalent of pork bacon.

            1. re: ipsedixit

              If you go along the bottom of the cow, front to back, the section near the foreleg is the brisket, followed by the plate (skirt steak), followed by the flank steak (and hanger steak).
              I mentioned upthread that I suspected the cut came from the plate, but it probably varies depending on the brand you buy.

              1. re: 4Snisl

                i was unfamiliar with the term plate

                1. re: kindofabigdeal

                  My fault for naming the primal cut instead of usual terminology in the supermarket.
                  I've been reading "The Complete Meat Cookbook" by Bruce Aidells and Denis Kelly. (Incredible resource!) And I was simply thinking of a diagram they had that used that the term "plate". It isn't a very common term, I agree.

                2. re: 4Snisl

                  It looks like they found a use for the skirt that allows them to command a premium price for it. In Europe the skirt is available separately but it's such a cheap cut that in the US they just throw into the grinder with the hamburger because they get more money for it than if they sold it as skirt steak.

            2. Beef Bacon can be made by getting Bresaola, which is a charcutery meat at your local deli or gourmet food store. It is dry aged beef tenderloin. Put it in the oven at 375 for about 25 minutes, and tada beef bacon is made.

              7 Replies
              1. re: chinkymonkey

                Hmmm... too little fat and too expensive.

                1. re: kindofabigdeal

                  Bresaola is actually almost completely lean. I would more call it "beef prosciutto" than bacon. In texture, think of the lean part of prosciutto, but a little drier and maybe a little saltier.

                  I absolutely love bresaola with a sprinkling of olive oil and some arugula. Expensive, yes, but a quarter pound that costs $5-6 is enough for two people. You can also find it pre-sliced in Citterio packages. About the same cost as decent nova. Also, I have never tried it but I believe bresaola would turn into shoe leather if you put it in your oven. Am I wrong? Does it turn toothsome instead?

                  1. re: plum

                    My husband was confused by my carbonara directions one night when I was tied up with the baby. He thought the bresaola was the pancetta (both were new to our household). So he pan-fried some bresaola, the result was really not to my liking. Shoe leathery-yes, and not a good flavour.

                2. re: chinkymonkey

                  it would be so lean i think. i mean, cows just do NOT have the clear layer of fat that pigs do. i think that the section of the cow (i.e. the hanging section round the stomach) that would be most equivalent to the bacon of a piggie would be what is popular nowadays - the hanger steak. no? i alway thought that it was called hanger because it was that hanging section.

                  1. re: ben61820

                    Hanger steak is quite lean. Navel cut would be fatty . . . that's why it's so good for pastrami.

                  2. re: chinkymonkey

                    Bresaola is not dry aged in the conventional meaning which is used for fresh meat. It is cured, sometimes smoked, and air dried. It is almost perfectly lean and I find it quite unpleasant when cooked.

                    1. re: chinkymonkey

                      Sorry but thats a terrible idea and a waste of good Bresaola. Also, if thinly sliced like bacon, at 375 for 25 minutes, it would be ruined. Bresaola has none of the phsical characteristics of the cut of meat used for bacon and is ill suited as a substitute.