ISO "Salty Pork" & Sazon (the ingredients)
Was given a recipe for Puerto Rican Black Beans that call for "salty pork". Questions:
1) Is this an easy to find item (Food 4 Less, Vons, etc?)
2) Is there a particular brand that is better than others?
3) Any hormone free, organic, blah blah blah purveyor salty pork available?
PS. Recipe also calls for Sazon, the blend of spices in a packet available from Goya and Knorr. Are there any places that make their own sazon that's not from these huge companies?
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I've recently had to buy some salt pork, i get it from Ralphs or Albertsons. I have not seen it organic, hormone-free or anything resembling that.
The only kind i have ever seen is Hormel, in a red plastic package where they keep the ham and smoked turkey. About 12 oz per package, whole block or sliced. They cost around 2,89$/pkg.
I found hormone free, non antibiotic, etc etc salt pork at Whole Foods. It's in the meat section, and it's called Ejay's Southern Smokehouse Salt Pork. It is a little more than double the price per pound than the mass-produced Hormel/Farmer John's salt pork I saw at Ralphs and Bristol Farms, but it was still a very reasonable $5 worth of pork... all of which went into about 10 cups of black beans. I think it's worth the premium.
Good to know - salt pork is something that used to be commonplace but is getting a little harder to find. Usually I find it at the markets that tend to serve more ethnic-dense areas. I would have never thought of looking at Whole Foods.
I've found recipes for sazon seasoning can vary quite a bit, particularly from region to region, and depending on what the sazon is for. If your recipe calls for a certain brand(s), I'd either stick with those, or at least read the ingredient list and try to replicate it from there. I'm pretty sure you want sazon with achiote (anatto) in it.