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Where to find slab pork belly

grandgourmand Jan 22, 2009 12:38 PM

I'm going to try and make some pancetta or bacon (once I get a smoker and when it's nicer outside). I've seen T&T sell pork belly, but it's in cubes. Does anyone know if they sell it in slabs as well? Or can you suggest somewhere else that does?

thanks.

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    Minnow RE: grandgourmand Jan 22, 2009 02:08 PM

    I was looking for some on the weekend to braise - Grace Meats carry it, but they ask you to call the day before. I imagine most butchers would be able to get it for you if you ask ahead.

    5 Replies
    1. re: Minnow
      t
      tjr RE: Minnow Jan 22, 2009 02:19 PM

      Yes, most butchers should be able to get it. You could try asking for it at the counter at T&T as well; I've seen it there, non-cubed.

      1. re: tjr
        grandgourmand RE: tjr Jan 22, 2009 02:24 PM

        I`ve seen the stuff on the bone. I guess I can use that and I`d also have ribs, right

        1. re: grandgourmand
          t
          tjr RE: grandgourmand Jan 22, 2009 04:59 PM

          I'd imagine they would even cut it for you.

          1. re: grandgourmand
            pinstripeprincess RE: grandgourmand Jan 23, 2009 06:59 AM

            i've definitely seen large slabs at the t&t cherry street location of just pork belly, no bones/ribs. have used it for kakuni and red pork and they usually fit perfectly along the length of the 6qt slow cooker.

            if you don't see it i'd just ask.

            1. re: pinstripeprincess
              grandgourmand RE: pinstripeprincess Jan 23, 2009 07:08 AM

              Thanks, perfect. That's my local T&T.

      2. b
        blogs RE: grandgourmand Jan 22, 2009 03:50 PM

        all of the china town food stores sell it, picked up a few bellies this week on Spadina @ $1.69/lb

        4 Replies
        1. re: blogs
          tbonetak RE: blogs Jan 23, 2009 04:13 AM

          Lucky Moose on Dundas, east of Spadina, usually has it. I've also seen heritage breed bellies at Fiesta Farms, although not in the majestically massive pieces you find in Chinatown. They also looked like they could use a once-over with a Lady Remington. Not a big deal, but it might require a little extra attention if you've got anyone at the table who freaks out over a bit of hair.

          1. re: tbonetak
            jayt90 RE: tbonetak Jan 23, 2009 06:19 AM

            Occaisional hairs is a problem with some heritage pork, as they may have dark , thick hair.

            If my Berkshire pork skin does not have the occasional black hair, I would suspect a cross breed was sold.

            1. re: jayt90
              tbonetak RE: jayt90 Jan 23, 2009 10:56 AM

              Too true. jayt90. I just wanted to OP to know what to expect. As well, the ones at Fiesta Farms sometimes have a few more than the occasional hair.

              1. re: jayt90
                t
                tjr RE: jayt90 Jan 23, 2009 10:57 AM

                Just torch them off before preparation.

          2. jayt90 RE: grandgourmand Jan 22, 2009 06:39 PM

            I get mine at Soon Lee, Markham and Lawrence, for $1.80 /lb. Easy parking, and lots of good poultry, pork and beef cut fresh while you wait. There are are always ten slabs of rich looking pork belies ready.

            -----
            Soon Lee
            629 Markham Rd, Toronto, ON M1J, CA

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              chef_vagabond RE: grandgourmand Jan 23, 2009 06:49 AM

              No idea where you're located but really, any butcher, Vince Gasparro's on Bloor and Shaw is my favourite. Also the Healthy Butcher always has it on hand, it's four times the price but twenty times better.

              1. Caroline1 RE: grandgourmand Jan 23, 2009 07:07 AM

                Don't know how things work for you guys up in Canada, but here in my little corner of Texas, Asian markets are ALWAYS the best place to buy pork belly. Cheaper, fresher, no minimum purchase, and you can buy as little or as much as you like. But in some Asian markets around here where English isn't all that common, they may call pork belly "bacon," even though it is uncured. Good luck!

                1. i
                  iamafoodie RE: grandgourmand Jan 23, 2009 07:09 AM

                  GG, good luck on the do-it-yourself bacon if you plan to do the pre-smoke cure. Michangelo's Market on Erin Mills Pkwy out here in the boonies of Mississauga has had sliced and pieces of pork belly since Maple Leaf Foods had their sanitation problem. The meat manager tells me belly meat is selling very well, replacing bacon.
                  I smoked a couple of slabs and they were OK, somewhat bacon-like, but I'd rather do ribs and butts.

                  1. Bobby Wham RE: grandgourmand Jan 23, 2009 09:20 AM

                    PAT central

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: Bobby Wham
                      jayt90 RE: Bobby Wham Jan 23, 2009 09:41 AM

                      I have had trays of sliced pork belly, frozen, from P.A.T. at Lawrence and Warden. I didn't see slabs there.

                    2. grandgourmand RE: grandgourmand Feb 10, 2009 03:48 PM

                      Just to follow up on my request, thanks all for the feedback. I ended up getting a slab at T&T, skin-on, on the bone. I'm just tucking into a dish using my homemade pancetta for the first time, and it tastes great. So far, so good. I figure when the weather's nicer, the bone-in version would be perfect. You've got the belly, then the ribs for smoking or whatever your heart desires.

                      1. s
                        smr714 RE: grandgourmand Feb 10, 2009 05:45 PM

                        You can even get it at the supermarkets like Metro, loblaws and Sobeys if they have a butcher counter. I grew up eating it, we called it fresh bacon.

                        1 Reply
                        1. re: smr714
                          t
                          torontofoodiegirl RE: smr714 Feb 10, 2009 08:09 PM

                          I just saw it pre-packaged at the Bayview and Eg Metro tonight.

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