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May 16, 2011 04:47 PM

Hairy pork belly?

Please bear with me. I don't really understand meat yet -- but I'm learning.

I bought some pork belly from a great Brooklyn butcher, so I suspect the problem is me. Anyway, on the skin, are whiskers! I get ew moments every time I look at it, but I do look forward to finally cooking it.

My question: is it normal for pork bellies to be sold in a somewhat furry state? Should I trim off the layer with the whiskers? This experience is seriously humbling for me.

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  1. Completely normal.

    Either trim with scissors, or use a razor which is what I recommend. Rub a little oil, and give that piggie a good clean shave.

    Or, if you've got a steady hand and a hand-held creme brulee torch, burn those suckers off.

    3 Replies
      1. re: Aucoin

        You're welcome.

        You''re not the first to ask, , and you probably won't be the last.


        1. re: ipsedixit

          Should have done my research, thought I was the first to make such a discovery. Ha!

    1. Wow. It sounds like you got some serious pork! Hairy meat has to be the polar opposite of shrink wrapped packages of meat with bar codes on them. I once cooked a chicken with some feathers intact and while it threw me off for a second, it was one of the best chickens I had ever eaten. Good luck with the pork belly! How do you plan to cook it?

      2 Replies
      1. re: JeremyEG

        Yes -- it's obviously fresh! Already put on a simple rub of salt, rosemary, and soy sauce and will stew it. Next time, I'll slow cook/braise, when I have more time.

        I fell in love with pork belly after going to a Brooklyn BBQ. Oh my --dessert and savory lunch in one (the rub was phenomenal, with the sweetness that made me feel I was eating a snack).

      2. Another suggestion I have is to use fish bone tweezers. Scrape the skin back and forth a couple of times first with the tweezers (makes the hair stand out and easier to remove), then simply pull the hair off.