It is very exciting to find such fantastic pork being raised so close to Houston and available (with some planning) for the average home cook in town. Revival Meats is one of two local meat producers that I’ve had the pleasure of procuring some pork from. The other is Harrison Hogs. Revival however seems to have more cuts available, especially the amazing belly. Revival Meats also raises unique breeds that are very much unlike anything else. To be specific I am talking about the woolly Mangalista pig and the Red Wattle. Both of these are raised naturally and allowed to get nice and fat, like a pig is supposed to be.
When I called Morgan asking to buy some belly for bacon, he immediately recommended the Red Wattle, because it is “less fatty” than the Mangalista! As you can see from these pictures, the Red Wattle is thick (about 2.5 inches at the thickest side) and also very fatty. I can only imagine how much fattier the Mangalista is. I cured these with my normal brown sugar cure based on the recipe from Charcuterie. I let them sit in the cure a bit longer than normal due to their thickness. Maybe a little too long because they were a bit saltier than I prefer. To finish them, they were smoked for 3 hours using cherry wood.
This is some wonderful bacon and a seriously different breed than any other bacon I’ve made. The fat is creamy and soft and the porky taste is deep and rich. With a slightly shorter curing time next time around this will be bacon perfection. I cannot wait to try some out to make Pancetta.