What Could Be Better Than Bacon?
Jeff and I went to the farmers market downtown this morning and one of the vendors had fresh sliced bacon, sausages of all kinds, and these hunks of meat we couldn’t identify. The vendor told us they were hog jowls. He said you only need to slice it like bacon and prepare it the same way. Well that’s what we did and I just have to say I much prefer this to bacon. The content of fat is much higher and that’s probably why it’s so tasty. After all, anyone who cooks knows fat equals flavor.
Since it is such a fatty item, we didn’t want to eat too much at once. We decided to have it as a garnish on a plate of black-eyed peas. I had made the peas a couple of days ago in the pressure cooker with carrots, onions, cayenne pepper, salt (added after the cooking as not to toughen the skins of the beans), pepper, and chicken stock and had plenty left over. I love cooking legumes in the pressure cooker because I can get them done in about an hour with little fuss using two cups of legumes and seven cups of water.
With the peas and the jowl meat on top, we all had a good plateful with our other market finds of tomatoes and jalapeno slices on the sides. It was quite a tasty dish. If I hadn’t already cooked the peas earlier in the week, I would have cut up some of the jowl and cooked it with them, but it worked out fine with the little strips or lardons as the chefs call them, to use as a topping on the peas instead. It still added so much flavor to them and let me just say, it all disappeared rather quickly. I would have never believed that there could be something better than bacon, but this is it, and it actually cost less.