We love bacon as much as the next omnivore, and we love using it in our cooking even more. A slice or two of slowly-rendered bacon is a great way to start off a soup or a braise. Recently, we've started playing around with a new-to-us version of this beloved pork product: slab bacon. If you cook with a lot of bacon, definitely check this out!
Slab bacon is really just regular bacon before it's been sliced. It's cured and usually smoked, and comes to us in a large, rectangular "slab" with the rind still attached.
This allows us a lot more flexibility with how we cut it and use it. We can cut thick slices of bacon to go on top of casseroles or chunky lardons to round out a soup. The rind can be used to make homemade cracklins!
Since we don't generally use all of it at once, we usually cut it into portions and freeze what we won't use right away. Portions thaw in a few minutes and are ready to go by the time we finish prepping the other ingredients for our meal.
You can usually find slab bacon at any good meat butcher, but we've had better luck buying it from individual farmers at farmers markets. The farmers often have a lot more variety and interesting smoke flavors anyway!
Do you like cooking with slab bacon?
Related: Crispy Fried Pork Skin: Chicharrónes
(Image: Fine Cooking)