Originally Posted by Cooking Goddess
I've made this more times than I can count...and I've never boiled the bacon first. I actually finished up the last little bit yesterday from a batch I had made last week...yum! We definitely love the final product, so I would say you can try the recipe either way and see what your taste buds tell you.
I agree. You do not have to boil the bacon. Basically, the salt pork/bacon/hog jowls provide a flavorful fat for the recipe.
The Julia Child recipe in her book with Jacques Pepin, Julia and Jacques Cooking at Home
, calls for boiling the salt pork to remove some of the salt.