Some dishes are so simple and basic, they really don’t elicit the need for a recipe or a enthusiastic response from most. Yet that very simplicity, which some might disdain, is comfort for others. A simple man’s dish can be regal and revered for it’s pure minimalism. While in Stockholm, having lunch with friends in a swanky cafe off of Stureplan, I ordered the lunch special. It was a basic hearty dish of fried salt pork served with boiled potatoes and a white creamy onion sauce.My friend rubbed her hands in glee in anticipation of this childhood favorite, and Certain Someone naturally leaned over to fork up a few of the tasty morsels. I knew this was a dish I had to replicate back home.
Growing up black, with a mother who cooked southern style, salt pork was normally reserved for greens or beans. I don’t think she ever fried it up for us to eat, although I know many do. As salt pork is cured and packed in salt , its essential to soak it overnight and even blanch it to lessen the saltiness. It’s poor mans food that cheap but adds a punch of flavor to any dish.Salt pork can be entirely fatty or lean with some meat. Its made from the pork belly, like bacon, yet cured in salt. Originally it was created as shipboard ration, much like the European cured cod in salt.
Salt Pork with Onion Sauce
- 1 lb slab of salt pork( streaky with meat and fat)
- oil or leaf lard for frying
- small red skinned potatoes ( enough for 2-3) peeled
- 1 stick butter
- 1 1/2 white onions minced
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 1/2 cup of milk
- white pepper
- sea salt
- *pinch of nutmeg optional
- Soak the salt pork overnight in water. Refrigerate, changing water periodically.
- Boil peeled potatoes in water with a pinch of salt until tender.
- Heat a pot with boiling water. Black salt pork for 1 minute to leech extra salt after soaking.
- Remove from water and cool.
- Slice salt pork .
- In a frying pan with oil or leaf lard, fry salt pork until crispy. Drain on paper towels and set aside.
- Check potatoes, drain , and toss lightly in butter when done. Cover until ready to use.
- In a frying pan melt 1 stick of butter.
- Add minced onion.
- Saute on med heat until onions are translucent .
- Season to taste with salt and white pepper.
- Add flour to butter and softened onions. Mix until you form a roux.
- Continue to cook for one minute to slightly brown the roux.
- Add milk and* nutmeg.
- Mix briskly to incorporate onions, roux and milk.
- Sauce will start to thicken.
- If sauce is too thick add more milk, adjust.
- Plate potatoes with sauce ladled over them. Top with a few slices of salt pork per person.
- Serve hot.