Fat back

Discussion in 'Sausage' started by fire in the hole, Jan 22, 2012.

  1. What or where on the hog does fat back come from. My butcher says it's a southern term and has no idea.....other than maybe it has to do with pork belly. I would like to get some from him but need to know exactly what it is.
  2. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    From Wikipedia:

    It consists of the layer of adipose tissue (subcutaneous fat) under the skin of the back, with or without the skin (pork rind). Fatback is "hard fat."  It is also called "speck" or "spek" in recipes I've seen.  It is apparently taken from these 2 regions of the porker:

    Last edited: Jan 22, 2012
  3. danmcg

    danmcg Master of the Pit OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Maybe you need to find a new butcher. [​IMG]

    Like James said, it's basically the hard fat that you find on the back and shoulder. I think nowadays most shops get there meat delivered as pre-trimmed subprimals  and the fat has already been removed

    The cryovac packs of shoulders I get here usually have enough back fat left on to make a good sausage, but I sometimes have to pick through the pile to find a good one.
  4. Thanks guys. Now I know how to describe my needs. And your right. The place I normally purchase meat gets everything pretty much cut up. We do have a local butcher shop, but I think all he butchers is local beef. I'll check with him and see if he may also butcher hogs.
  5. scarbelly

    scarbelly Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Great job with the tutorial James. 
  6. nepas

    nepas Smoking Guru Staff Member Moderator Group Lead OTBS Member

    Down here its AKA StreakOLean

    Has some meat in it also not as salty as fatback
  7. raptor700

    raptor700 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Fat back is great

    With Pops cure and some Hickory smoke it's Awesome.
  8. adiochiro3

    adiochiro3 Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thanks, but it was just a quick Wikipedia search -- wanted to make sure I was correct before posting....
  9. bigfish98

    bigfish98 Smoking Fanatic

    You may want to try Cloverdale Meats in Mandan if you are ever down this way.  I looked around for Pork Bellies for bacon and they were by far the cheapest (I got this tip from a fellow SMF member in the Minot area - Thanks again Marty) at $2 a pound.  I am sure they would know what you want and be able to get it for you!  That is if you can make it past all the oil trucks to get here!

  10. Bigfish....thanks for the lead. When I get down that way I'll check cloverdale. I'm getting excited to try my hand at that fancy italian baloni, that;s why I want the fat back. But, as it warms up here, I want to also try bacon, and you gave me a sources for both.

    Your right about the truck traffic. It's a zoo up here.
  11. bigfish98

    bigfish98 Smoking Fanatic

    I am doing my second Buck Board Bacon this weekend!  My next project is also regular bacon so I will be hitting Cloverdale up for a case of bellies soon! 

    I work for the DOT here in Bismarck and we are having a heck of time keeping those roads in any kind of shape and trying to plan for new ones/bypasses to try and alleviate some of the pressure.  You hit it on the head, a complete zoo!

  12. Thanks for the great question and follow up info-a huge help for us newbies!
  13. venture

    venture Smoking Guru OTBS Member

  14. see if you can find a butcher who also slaughters, My butcher had been awesome I ask for back fat, and he gives it to me for free, or he will grind it for .50 cents  per lb
  15. I could be wrong but I'v always knowen it to be white fat with an outer skin or rine. I'm from a Ukraine background and my grandmother would soak peices in a salt brine. when removed and dried off it would be frozen or cooked to get and save the fat for cooking. the byproduct is a crispy (or crackle if in the UK) some what like bacon but much better.To cook, cut off the rine and cube the fat 1/4x1/4 cook on a med heat in small sause pan till golden ,do not burn like bacon. (as handed down),i use some of the liquid mixed with porgies and just when serving add the cubs on top.If you make sausage add some un cook to the mix.

     The brine.

    Ues a container that will hold fat about an inch thick and cut into 6x6 squares and can be sealed. to make brine boiled water and salt enought liquid fill container coverinng fat back. A quick way to guage how much salt is to place hot water in bowel with an egg when egg floats to the top enought salt.Tase and add more salt  to your liking. place liquid and fat back in sealed container in fridge for about 14 days. You could also pack the fat back in a sealed container in salted layers with a weigth on top, this squeezes out some liquid that is remover during the curing time.It's a bit messy and I preferred the other way.

    Next time you grill take a 6x6 cube put it on a rotisserie watch it(about 15min.) untill golden brown let dry or drain in a paper towel and enjoy.

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