David Reamer
Reprinted with permission from Le Pigeon by Gabriel Rucker & Meredith Erickson, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.
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Lamb Belly BLT

Le Pigeon: Cooking at the Dirty Bird, Gabriel Rucker & Meredith Erickson with Lauren & Andrew Fortgang - May 23rd, 2014

Erik Van Kley, the sous chef at Le Pigeon who is now at Little Bird, came up with this lamb belly BLT, a delicious combination of oozing lamb fat, fresh tomatoes, and a smoky bacon mayo. As you can guess, this is an intense BLT, so we only serve half a slice per person, as an appetizer. Warning: You have to cure lamb belly for 3 days before making this dish.

Serves 2

Lamb belly:

  • 1/4 cup (35g) kosher salt
  • 1/2 tsp. black pepper, freshly ground
  • 2 Tbsps. brown sugar
  • 1/8 tsp. pink curing salt
  • 1 tsp. tarragon, chopped
  • 1 lamb belly, about 1 1/2 lbs. (680g)

In small bowl, stir salt, pepper, sugar, curing salt, and tarragon to create the cure; rub cure all over belly; place belly in large resealable plastic bag; refrigerate 3 days, turning it over every day to ensure it’s evenly coated; remove belly from refrigerator; rinse with cold water; pat dry; place in roasting pan; cover with lid or aluminum foil; roast in preheated 300˚F oven until meat is easily penetrated with fork, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours; remove from pan; reserve.

Bacon mayo:

  • 1/2 cup (125ml) neutral oil
  • 4 oz. (125g) bacon, coarsely chopped
  • 2 lg. egg yolks
  • 1/2 tsp. white vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp. mustard powder
  • 1/8 tsp. onion powder

Heat oil in small, heavy saucepan over low heat; add bacon; cook until bacon has rendered all of its fat, about 12 minutes; strain, reserving bacon fat; cool fat to room temperature; combine egg yolks, vinegar, mustard powder, and onion powder in bowl; whisk in bacon fat, adding drops of water if too thick; reserve in refrigerator.

Assembly:

  • 4 slices white bread, preferably Franz, halved and toasted
  • 4 leaves baby romaine
  • 4 slices heirloom tomatoes

Spread bacon mayo on one side of each piece of toast; add romaine, tomatoes, and lamb belly; top with another slice of mayo-slathered toast; serve.

Reprinted with permission from Le Pigeon by Gabriel Rucker & Meredith Erickson, copyright © 2013. Published by Ten Speed Press, a division of Random House, Inc.