It was a recipe created by his mother. As the now resident of Portugal traveled the world teaching hotel chefs how to make specialty products for more than a decade he found it to be a great seller. He agreed to share this popular recipe with Bacon Business.
“In the Flanders area it became a big seller and soon was available throughout Holland,” he explains. “I made it many times in Asia and modified it a bit, since they love bacon but not mustard, because it is too spicy for them. That was a bit strange to me because liked hot chili peppers with their breakfast. It seems every country has different taste preferences.”
Plasschaert suggests using your own version of pork belly with your own cure at 10 percent of the brine and leave it in the brine for four days. In Europe, many butchers use pork bellies with much more rib meat left on the cut.
“Next, we mix mustard using a spoon,” he continues. “If you mix it like this you can keep the mustard mix in the cooler for up to six months. It is like wine, the older it is, the better the taste.”
His recipe calls for mixing normal mustard (1 kg = 2.204 lbs.), brown sugar (0.5 kg =1.102 lbs.), garlic powder (0.2 kg = 0.441 lbs.) and clove powder (50 grams = 2 oz.) This mixture is the main ingredient.
“Put the cured belly on a baking plate and dab it dry with a paper towel or napkin,” he says. “Apply about a good spoonful of the mustard mixture to the belly and massage it by hand over the bacon, including the sides, but enough that you do not see any of the meat showing through the mix. Then you sprinkle yellow mustard seed and dry basil leaves over the meat.”
Plasschaert advises to bake it for 10 minutes at 150° C (301° F) to achieve a nice brown color. This should be followed by further baking the product at 120° C (248° F) until an internal temperature of 68° C (154° F) is attained.
“How long you need to bake it depends on the size of the belly,” he notes. “In Korea I made 1-lb. pieces, which took about 30 minutes to reach the desired internal temperature. Believe me when you take it into the deli area on the plate, customers will buy some just for the aroma and looks.”
He says the bacon is normally eaten after cooling down, usually in fine slices on nice dark bread.
“The taste tells you that it is a great cold weather meal,” he concludes. “But it is also great in thicker slices with a German-style sauerkraut and a few slices of smoked sausage. In the warmer weather, a thick slice off the grill with a slice of pineapple is also popular.”
Like many other high-end meat products, aroma and presentation really help develop the product's appeal for the customer for this European specialty product. It will have a spicy taste but can add a new flavor profile to the bacon selection you offer.