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Old 09-21-2008, 01:23 AM   #1
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Salt pork isn't quite right

Hi everyone,

Last night I made a delicious French lentil soup called petit salé aux lentilles and I'd like to publish the recipe on my site, but I'm stuck for what to recommend to Americans (my principal audience) for the petit salé.

Here in France we can buy several different kinds of salt cured pork products (called petit salé) varying in fattiness. I was going to call for salt pork in my recipe, but when I check that out on the web, it seems to be just a hunk of fat and very little meat. This isn't at all the case for what I put in my lentils.

Does anyone know what you can get at the grocery store in America that would be the equivalent of a nice meaty piece of salt cured pork?

Thanks for any suggestions!

Kim

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Old 09-21-2008, 01:30 AM   #2
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For lentils I would be tempted to just use bacon - a nice Hickory smoked bacon.
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Old 09-21-2008, 03:28 AM   #3
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A nice smoked ham hock will work. Be sure to cook it well before adding it to the soup. Braised in enough water to just cover the hock. Bring to a boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for at least 45 minutes or unil the meat (under the skin) is fork tender. Trim the meat from the bone and chop it up and add it to the soup. Use a bit of that cooking water in the soup as well.
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Old 09-21-2008, 07:18 AM   #4
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I think "Panchetta", it is widely available here, and is not "smoked". I think American "Bacon" is the best in the world, but is usually heavily smoked, so if you don't like that smoked flavor, Panchetta works very well as a sub..

Eric, Austin Tx, USA
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Old 09-21-2008, 09:27 AM   #5
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One can buy sliced salt pork here (Southern US) that has a nice lean to fat ratio... As good as bacon..very often better... with careful selection. I use it often for seasoning, beans, peas, and lentils...It will work fine for a pot of soup!

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Old 09-22-2008, 01:58 AM   #6
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Thanks for everyone's help. My recipe also calls for some Toulouse sausage so I feel like bacon is going to overwhelm things.

I wrote the recipe with the suggestion of substituting ham hock if one can't fine high quality salt pork with a good meat to fat ratio.

But I'm wondering about something else. What I use here in France has to be blanched before cooking to remove most of the salt. Would this be true of salt pork and a ham hock? (Sorry to be so lame, I haven't cooked in the States for years and it's amazing the things I don't know.)
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Old 09-22-2008, 02:36 AM   #7
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Use the leftover reminents of a ham with the bone. This is good for pea soup, also.
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Old 09-22-2008, 07:33 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KimSteele
But I'm wondering about something else. What I use here in France has to be blanched before cooking to remove most of the salt. Would this be true of salt pork and a ham hock?
Ham hocks no. Salt Pork?...It depends on Your recipe...How much is used, etc. I routinely use Salt Pork and do not "blanche" it to remove salt. It just takes less added salt in the dish when doing so. Sometimes if the meat is to be fried to eat out of hand, some people choose to soak it in water over night to remove some of the salt...others do not. To blanche or not to blanche?? Write your recipe the way you want!

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Old 09-30-2008, 02:28 PM   #9
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Why not Ham Hocks?? They are full of flavor...
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Old 09-30-2008, 02:53 PM   #10
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You can also use smoked turkey wings or legs. The taste is similar to ham hocks but with much less fat.
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