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Nov 14, 2011 01:23 PM

Pork belly

I need a place where I can get large slabs of pork belly (for curing into bacon). I can find it at the H-Mart in Burlington, but it's always chopped into small chunks. I want the large, flat sections of it. Any suggestions?

Thanks in advance.

3 Old Concord Rd, Burlington, MA 01803

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  1. Puritan Beef at Haymarket tends to have it all the time and validates at the parcel 7 garage. Try to get a piece from their walk-in rather than smaller pieces in the display case and you will get much better service on a non-Haymarket day.

    Blackstone St, Boston, MA

    3 Replies
    1. re: itaunas

      Puritan can be hit or miss, so I think it's right to ask for a fresh cut one, as I got one from the front case a few weeks back that was rotten (slimey and stinky, a real dissapointment), and maybe you'll have better luck...the price was right though, about $2.50 a pound. I was wanting to do a porchetta that weekend, and when Puritan came up spoiled, I ended up going to Whole Foods in Dedham, while literally twice the price, the cut was good, and the meat was certified organic and I guess you get what you pay for.

      Funny side note, I called ahead to see if they had it, and the kid on the phone was like "yeah, we have some, want to place an order, and I'll have it ready for you when you get here", so I was like great, yes, yes I when I get there to pick it up, he tells me "I have gone ahead and removed the skin for you, as it can be kind of inedible in this cut". I was like dude, go back, and cut me porchetta is merely a skin delivery system, the meat is a bonus, I'm here for the skin!!!!

      1. re: devilham

        devilham sad to hear that and I suspected that did happen from time to time based on seeing some sketchy meat in the display case (which also doesn't regulate temperature as well as the walk-in). On non Haymarket days they have always been willing to get a piece from the walk-in -- I just pantomine the size I want and order something larger than a chunk. Another advantage of buying larger pieces is with a purchase of a certain amount ($50? $75), you get a percent back towards a future purchase, but definitely try to get something fresh out of a cryopack if you are spending that kind of money.

        BTW, If its just a bit slimey you can still try to salvage the meat with a bit of water and vinegar. This will affect the texture so don't bother making your prize porchetta afterwards (the skin, I might remove and salt in this case -- then dry to fry or use in beans). I have this happen a decent bit in Brazil and if you catch it soon enough its a decent remedy.

        1. re: itaunas

          Thanks for the tip Itaunas! I didn't know about the vinegar, I did try to rince it with water, but it kinda made the sliminess worse!!! And it really did have an odor, so no regrets about dumping it. But using it in a batch of beans is a capital idea!

    2. H-Mart does sell whole pork bellies. All you have to do is ask one of the workers near the meat area for a whole belly. However, I think whether or not it is rind-on/rind-off depends on what they get in. It seems that most larger Asian markets that sell pork belly, including those in Chinatown, get in whole bellies and slice on premise so just try asking next time and see if they'll give you a whole one.

      3 Old Concord Rd, Burlington, MA 01803

      6 Replies
      1. re: medjool

        Thanks. I finally got in to H-Mart, and asked them for larger slabs of pork belly. They took me into the back and they brought out this.

        It's curing in my fridge now.

        1. re: Indirect Heat

          That is fantastic. You may consider slow roasting and using as a blanket.

          I have a (much smaller) belly -- love how they spell it bellie -- from C-Mart braising in the oven at this very moment.

          1. re: Indirect Heat

            Curiously how many lbs is that slab?

              1. re: Indirect Heat

                omg. what are you going to do with all that bacon??

                please tell me you're making bacon chocolate and selling it for cheap.

                1. re: tammyh

                  Heh. A bunch of it will be given to friends. After that, I expect to push my cholesterol levels up.

                  Honestly, I didn't give it a ton of thought, but when they showed me this pig blanket, I had to have it.

        2. They sell pork bellies at the Chinese markets, normally cut into 2-3 inch wide slabs. However if you can signal to the butcher that you need a bigger slab, they can normally cut you a piece to (reasonably) suit your needs.

          1. I buy mine at the Reliable Market. Sometimes I have to refuse one and ask them to show me another, but to date, the quality has been very good.

            1. Planning on doing a whole belly porchetta in few weeks, butcher at John Dewars said they could get me whole/skin on belly with just a few days notice.