Massive Mangalitsa Bacon

These guys are getting big! These mangalitsa are coming in around 300lbs and the slabs of belly we are getting from Torm barely fit in our smoker. We hung out with this blondie along with the rest of Torm's swallow bellies and reds recently on our farm trip.

We had these two bellies in a dry box cure(basic 1:1:.25 ratio of dextrose, salt, and cure 1) for 13 days then I spent the last two days running to the smoker every 2 hours to check on them. The first day they got some cold mesquite smoke for 12 hours. Today we ran them another 12 hours with some hickory since the mesquite ran out.

I was walking out to the smoker which is in a public area of the hotel by the pool and had people coming up to me every time I went out to check on it to see what we were doing. I had guys coming up asking me all kinds of questions from how to do this at home to where they needed to go tonight to get a taste. BBQ and smokers seem to bring everyone together, I had guys from Montana, England and Germany all standing there admiring the bacon. We talked about the pigs, their recipes, and what we had in store for all of this. With the volcano in Iceland and a big issue with getting flights home for the people overseas we have had a lot of repeat guests and the Pasture Prime Pork is selling! Most people see us as just a fish restaurant which we primarily are but we do meat! I like to think that if you only have 1 beef option, 1 chicken option and 1 pork option that your will do them well.

More bacon just went into a brine of soy, molasses, honey, sugar, salt, and cure 1. In 10 days we will be smoking another round of bacon. Our Lardo d'Arnad is working as well. We used Jason Molinari's base formula of salt, water and cure 1 but changed some components with the hope that we will end up with a truly unique product. We took his ratios and added black garlic for that fermented molasses flavor and our herbs of choice instead of going traditional with sage and rosemary. Hopefully this will carry through and provide us with a more southern theme for our lardo. Funny how we end up using a japanese product to achieve a "southern" flavor profile.

I didn't have my phone with me today or you would have seen a lot more twitpics of the pepperoni Baxter and Cody put together. They got the smoke treatment as well. We also have some going into the chamber for a longer cure. We have lots of pig floating around and we are getting slammed everyday with business but these guys still find a way to keep our charcuterie going. The dedication is amazing and it doesn't just stop at bacon. There are endless elements being worked on constantly. This site is called bluechefs, not bluechef, everyone brings something to the table. I just don't want everyone who visits this site to think that it's what I do, it's what we do.


  1. Chris - Your photos are great, especially the hungry pig.

    One thing - Torm (Pasture Prime) hasn't bought any purebred pigs (e.g. reds, blondes or swallow-belly Mangalitsas).

    Instead, he's bought crossbreeds. That's why they have such varied appearances.

    If he had purebreds, they'd look the same and be a bit fatter. They'd also be smaller, much slower growing and less robust.

    It is a smart move to raise crossbred Mangalitsa pigs. Producers in Spain and Hungary do the same thing with Iberico and Mangalitsa pigs.

  2. Heath,
    Torm mentioned that they were crossbred. Do you know what pigs these were crossbred with? Are we wrong in calling these blondes, swallow bellies or reds? I know you are very particular in the lineage and terminology associated with these guys.

  3. I have always been curious about Mangalista pork. Does it simply have more fat than other breeds or does the meat carry a different flavor as well?

  4. Eddie, The mangalitsa we are receiving have a nice earthy flavor. It's not gamey, just clean and full flavored. This particular breed of pig has a lot more fat but the fat is also very flavorful and light. You don't feel like hell after you eat a nice piece of loin with a 1/2 in fat cap on it. We are so used to the production pigs of today and how lean they are. You have to alter the way you cook and butcher these animals to maximize their flavor.