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Oct 26, 2010 02:20 PM

Beef Belly?

I would like to make my own kosher "bacon" using beef belly.

Does anyone know where I can find this in the NY/NJ area?

Also, has anyone come across kosher turkey bacon or a recipe for turkey bacon?

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  1. Brisket is a belly cut. You might also want to consider duck. Duck bacon and prosciutto are common preparations and you can probably find a number of recipes by googling. It's basically curing and smoking. Here's a prosciutto from Michael Ruhlman:

    1. The cut of beef you are looking for is called 'navel". It is the fat belly of the animal and is used for beef frye and the old style fatty pastrami. Otherwise, it is cut up for scraps for ground beef or sausages.

      1. lamb belly works really well for a fine non pork cured "bacon"-- just a suggestion, if you can find it. i agree w Chicago Maven that the "beef belly" navel cut is best used for sausage and pastrami. turkey bacon is okay but doesn't have the fattiness that it sounds like you're going for. duck bacon is better and closer in texture, but i think lamb might just be the ticket.

        3 Replies
        1. re: soupkitten

          I had the same plan. I called Abeles & Heymann directly - they make the most common Kosher bacon-substitute, Beef-Fry. I asked if they would sell me a raw beef-plate ('plate' and 'navel' are the same thing). They did, but I had to pick it up myself. They're in a corporate park area of NJ. they sold me a 7 lb. package for $5/lb. I cured it and smoked it, following Ruhlman's recipe for Maple Cured Bacon from 'Charcuterie'. There will be a post on KosherBlog about it.

          1. re: psycomp

            hey sounds interesting-- i'll stay tuned :)

            1. re: psycomp

              That's pretty awesome, psycomp. Yasher koach.

          2. Thanks for all of the suggestions. Although I think I may have found my marching order:

            Now if I only knew where I can get lamb belly.

            6 Replies
            1. re: shaytmg

              They got it in Machane Yehudah in Israel. If you find a source for it here, please let us know.

              1. re: psycomp

                I think finding it is going to be the hard part.

                I live in New Jersey and work in Manhattan. I called Glatt Express in Teaneck and they said they could not get it. I also tried La Marais and the butcher is looking into it. Will let you know.

                1. re: shaytmg

                  please don't bite my head off, but is contacting a local halal butcher out of the question? the halal butchers in my area are very accommodating with special orders. perhaps not a good solution for you, but i'm throwing it out there fwiw. :)

                  1. re: soupkitten

                    A hala butcher is out of the question for someone who keeps kosher. But there are lots of kosher butchers who can track down specialty cuts.

                    1. re: cheesecake17

                      thanks, yes i'm aware that many folks who eat halal will go to a kosher butcher in a pinch, but someone who keeps strictly kosher will not go to a halal butcher. my post was for general info only, as i do not know the op's standards of observance. as i stated, if the info is not useful to the op, it may be useful to others interested in making non-pork bacon out of lamb or other alternative meats who do a subject search. the best lamb bacon i've ever tasted was made by an excellent chef with a halal muslim family background btw. cheers.

                  2. re: shaytmg

                    In Chicago we have pretty accommodating butchers who can track down less common cuts (at least they do when my wife asks). Last time we were in Miami I was very surprised at the range of lamb cuts at Kosher Kingdom. They had pre-wrapped lamb breast which I have yet to see anywhere in Chicago outside of a special order. We smoke a lot so I'm always in the market for new cuts.

              2. The original comment has been removed
                1. Hmm, is lamb breast and lamb belly the same thing?

                  Maybe I was just calling it by the wrong name.

                  1. re: shaytmg

                    They can be the same thing although technically "breast" is the forward portion where the ribs terminate and there is a cut below/behind it which is more analogous to "belly." But to get back to your question, I've seen the term "belly" used for lamb breast which is a thin cut that does have a bacon-y appearance in section.

                  2. Veal breast is actually a great idea. It is more readily available as I have seen it in a few supermarkets and it is very very fatty. Perfect for bacon IMO.