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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:

    http://ruhlman.com/2009/03/duck-prosc...

    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: http://jewishbacon.wordpress.com/

            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. Hmm, is lamb breast and lamb belly the same thing?

                Maybe I was just calling it by the wrong name.

                1 Reply
                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.

                  1. Ok, so I decided to use lamb breast for this, although I have not gotten my hands on it just yet. I found two places that sell it, Best Glatt in Teaneck and Aarons Gourmet in Rego Park.

                    Best Glatt has theirs rolled into a roast and frozen at $9.99 a pound. Aarons Gourmet has it for 2.99 a pound.

                    First I am trying to amass all of the software for this. I ordered my apple wood for smoking and picking up the pink curing salt today. I hope to have a usable piece of meat by this weekend so I can start the cure and plan on smoking it next Sunday. I know this is wishful thinking, but we'll see how this goes.

                    3 Replies
                    1. re: shaytmg

                      go with the whole lamb breast at 2.99 a pound it usually comes cryovaced two to a bag, you will have to take the breast off the bone, don't worry it is not too difficult,
                      also you will need to soak the breast in cold water for a day to get rid of the oversaltiness, and then let it dry on a rack in the refrigerator for a day at least until it gets sticky (its called the pellicle) i make lamb bacon all the time its fairly easy.

                      1. re: cwsilverberg

                        Thanks for the tips.

                        I am hoping it is the whole breast. I am going to be in Queens some time this weekend so will be stopping by to find out. Most places I found either get it delivered as riblets or immediatley cut it up into riblets.

                        Where do you find the whole breast cryovaced? Any chance its in the NY area or they do mail-order

                        1. re: shaytmg

                          FWIW, we ate at Clubhouse Cafe motzei shabbos and my wife had the beef bacon on her burger. It was yummy but not quite crunchy enough. I assume it's from the butcher at Le Marais but it's worth asking if you haven't yet.

                    2. FYI: http://www.kosherblog.net/2010/11/24/...

                      1 Reply
                      1. re: psycomp

                        wow, that pic looks great!

                      2. Success!!!

                        I have the lamb breat and curing salt in hand. Going to start the cure this weekend and smoke it next Sunday.

                        Oh, and a shout out to Aarons Gourmet (http://www.aaronsgourmet.com/). They had full lamb breasts at $2.99 a pound. Also have kosher meat you cannot really find elsewhere - wagyu, goose, foie gras, you name it.

                        6 Replies
                        1. re: shaytmg

                          Yeah, I'd love to try some of those meats. . . if only their hashgacha was one I could eat!

                          1. re: queenscook

                            Their meat is glatt kosher and they are closed on shabbat.

                            http://www.aaronsgourmet.com/html/abo...

                            1. re: shaytmg

                              Yes, but get 20 people who keep Kosher in a room and you'll easily get 20 standards of Kashrut.

                              1. re: shaytmg

                                And yet, their Rav ha'machshir, R. Israel Mayer Steinberg, is not universally accepted. I don't know why; I just know my Rav doesn't hold by that hechsher.

                                1. re: shaytmg

                                  I know, he is quite controversial, giving a haschacha to Second Avenue Deli which is open on shabbat.

                                  I can start ranting on the state of kashrut in the US these days, but going to save that for another time. :)

                                  The whole kashrut industry just irks me to no end.

                                  1. re: shaytmg

                                    it looks like they sell packaged meats like wise's (chicken and franks). they do say "Our suppliers of glatt kosher meats are: Agri Star Meat and Poultry, Inter, Hassideshe Glatt or Western Glatt, etc. Our suppliers of kosher poultry are: Agri Star Meat and Poultry, International, Empire, Wise, Grunbaum, etc. Customers have a choice of packaged meats from these suppliers."