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Ohboyohboyohboy -- It's saltpork!!
March 29, 2011 3:22 PM   Subscribe

What can I use as a non-porky substitute for salt pork?

I absolutely love the added oomph salt pork gives to beans, soups, and similar recipes. However, I don't want to eat pork anymore. I'm cool with any other kind of meat. Is there anything else that can come anywhere close to replicating the deliciousness of salt pork?
posted by meese to Food & Drink (25 answers total) 6 users marked this as a favorite
 
Turkey bacon.
posted by mareli at 3:24 PM on March 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Smoked oysters?
posted by rabidsegue at 3:26 PM on March 29, 2011


Liquid smoke? Maybe plus some fat. In some applications, tempeh could help too.
posted by Mngo at 3:29 PM on March 29, 2011


Smoked turkey thighs
posted by mamaquita at 3:33 PM on March 29, 2011 [6 favorites]


Cured duck breast with a thick layer of fat is probably as close as you're going to get.
posted by peachfuzz at 3:33 PM on March 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fermented black beans have a different character, but could be good depending on the dish.
posted by deludingmyself at 3:34 PM on March 29, 2011


Salt beef. Salt cod.
posted by Faint of Butt at 3:34 PM on March 29, 2011


Pastrami. It's the Jewish pork, I'm telling you.
posted by koeselitz at 3:34 PM on March 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cured duck breast with a thick layer of fat is probably as close as you're going to get texture- and usage-wise (you're not trying to get a smoky taste, right?)
posted by peachfuzz at 3:35 PM on March 29, 2011


Fish sauce (aka nam pla).
posted by emilyw at 3:38 PM on March 29, 2011


Corned Beef and lots of fat.
posted by The Toad at 3:38 PM on March 29, 2011


Wow, now that it's been suggested, I feel kind of stupid for not having thought of pastrami or corned beef. It seems so obvious now!

I'm still ignorant, though. I only know about pastrami from sandwiches: lunch meat. And I only know corned beef as what I eat on Yay For Ireland Day. Is the pastrami I should get the same lunch meat-type stuff? At the deli window at the store? Is the corned beef I should get the same as I get when I cook it as a meal?
posted by meese at 3:42 PM on March 29, 2011


Yeah, cured duck breasts is a good replacement for salt pork, they also happen to be incredibly delicious, and stupid easy to do at home.

You can also make corned beef at home, for way cheaper than you'd normally be able to... Yay brisket!
posted by furnace.heart at 3:45 PM on March 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Liquid smoke can be great if you want to cut down on calories or have vegetarians over. Also, while an entirely different oomph, smoked chipotle peppers add fantastic flavor to beans, soups, stews, and sauces (and I don't even eat spicy food).
posted by halogen at 3:49 PM on March 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Consider branching out of the meat world and into the "good sources of glutamate" world that J. Kenji Lopez-Alt calls "umami bombs": soy sauce, parmesan cheese, anchovies, marmite, etc. None of these things come close to replacing pork in the general case, but for meaty bass in soups and such like you're talking about, worth a shot.
posted by jeb at 3:53 PM on March 29, 2011 [4 favorites]


Parmesan rinds. Different oomph, but oomph all the same.
posted by holgate at 3:58 PM on March 29, 2011


A dollop of Marmite/Vegemite and some liquid smoke. Your mind will be blown.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 4:05 PM on March 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


oops..And a bit of light flavored oil for the unctuousness.
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 4:05 PM on March 29, 2011


Oh wow. Cooking with marmite... I'm intrigued!
posted by Salamandrous at 4:42 PM on March 29, 2011


I was surprised by how amazing it was myself. I'm in love with Marmite in general, but never did more than bread+Marmite. This morning, I loaded up a crockpot full of collard greens, onions, carrots, chana dal, liquid smoke, black pepper, paprika, a touch of olive oil, a sprinkling of crushed sanaam peppers (beware!) and a big ol' dollop of Marmite.

When I got home this afternoon, I took a taste and was blown away by how amazingly delicious it was. Tasted just like the stuff mom used to make (I think I'm one of the few Jews on the planet who was raised on ham hocks and collard greens).
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 5:00 PM on March 29, 2011


My local grocery store sells vacuume-packed smoked turkey drumsticks in the luncheon meat section. I think they taste exactly like smoked ham.
posted by bonobothegreat at 5:14 PM on March 29, 2011 [1 favorite]


Liquid smoke is pretty much that - smoke. Salt pork hasn't been smoked, but does contain serious amounts of salt and fat (smoke is fat-free last time I checked.) Try the fattiest corned beef you can find, or cured duck.
posted by sanko at 7:41 PM on March 29, 2011


Cured duck is indeed awesome and easy to make. We use Ruhlman's recipe for that and corned beef, which furnace.heart linked, and also consulted Alton Brown's corned beef recipe.

As far as umami-bombs go, don't forget miso!
posted by librarina at 9:32 PM on March 29, 2011


marmite, vegemite and soy sauce all add salt and umami to many dishes. Soy sauce is my go-to instead of broth/bullion in cooking (because it's more convenient, and I don't like the taste of bullion much).
posted by jb at 10:37 PM on March 29, 2011


Nthign smoked turkey parts. If you're anywhere near a real butcher, they'll be cheap as heck.
posted by desuetude at 10:39 PM on March 29, 2011


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