Salt pork (also called salt-cured pork or white bacon) is an ingredient used in many recipes. Salt pork resembles an uncut slab of bacon in appearance, but it’s not cured or smoked like bacon. Instead, it is used in recipes that call for a pork fat that hasn’t been smoked and it also adds a wonderful salty flavor to certain dishes like baked beans, beef braciole, chowders, soups and stews, or vegetables and greens.
Many recipes call for dicing your salt pork before cooking it, and if you’ve never cooked with salt pork before, you might not know exactly how to work with it. Here we’ll show you how:
Start by scraping off any excess salt and discard the excess. Rinsing may be required if there is a lot of salt on the pork.
With a sharp chef’s knife, make horizontal and vertical slices into the salt pork, cutting all the way down to the tough skin without cutting through it. The results should be a patchwork of cuts.
From the center of the piece of salt pork, bring your knife down and turn to one side so the blade is parallel with the cutting board.
Holding the opposite side, run the knife blade to the end. If the salt pork is thick, make two or three passes until you are down to the skin.
Turn the salt pork around and repeat to the other half.
Use the diced salt pork in your recipe and discard the skin.