In response to the whole house-arrest, fat-fest that’s been taking place during ‘the rona’. I’ve been making all sorts of hearty, low-carb meals. And this one certainly didn’t disappoint.
Normally, I don’t mess around with iceberg lettuce. But in this case, I’ll make an exception. This keto-approved salad is top-notch! Perfect for springtime, or quarantine. 😉
What Are Pork Lardons?
Lardon is just a fancy word for thick chunks of pork belly or bacon. Pork belly is the boneless cut of fatty meat from— you guessed it— the pig’s belly! It’s deliciously decadent and perfectly crispy (especially when fried or cooked in an air fryer).
What’s the Difference between pork belly and bacon?
Bacon is pork belly (or back) that’s been cured (with salt or brine), and smoked. For this recipe, you can use bacon or pork belly interchangeably. Because I’m a fat whore, I’ve chosen to use both.
How to Make Pork Lardons
Step 1: Select Your Cut of Pork
When it comes to meat, the cut matters as much as how you cook it. As a conscious carnivore, I’m committed to participating in the regenerative farming revolution by voting with my dollar.
ASPCA Recommended Certifications
The ASPCA recommends that those who eat or buy meat, eggs or dairy seek out products bearing the logo of one of the checkmarked certifications below. These third-party verified programs represent a spectrum of better ways to raise animals—from enriched indoor environments to pasture-based farming—but all offer animals significantly better lives than conventional factory farms.
Animal Welfare Approved
Continuous access to pasture or range. No feedlots. Cage confinement, hormones and subtherapeutic (preventative or growth-promoting) antibiotics prohibited. Standards extend to breeding animals, transport and slaughter. Compliance verified by auditors on every farm. Represents a very significant improvement over conventional standards.
Continuous outdoor access for ruminants. Outdoor access not required for birds and pigs, unless the words “free-range” or “pasture” also appear on the packages. Cage confinement, hormones and subtherapeutic antibiotics prohibited. Certified Humane represents a significant improvement over conventional standards.
Thick-cut bacon is easy to obtain from your local grocery store. Alternatively, pork belly might be more challenging to get your hands on. If you can’t get your hands on it locally, I’d recommend ordering online through White Oak Pastures.
Step 2: Prep the Lardons
Slice the pork belly into 1″ chunks and season as desired (do not season pork if using bacon). I’ve selected Twist’D Q Sweet Mesquite Chicken Rub,* but pork belly is just as delicious seasoned with salt and pepper. I used 1 tablespoon rub (mixed with 1 tablespoon baking powder) for 8 lardons. I’d recommend slicing the pork first, and then add the seasoning— that way you can generously season all sides of each lardon.
*For extra-crispy pork belly, cut the seasoning with baking powder (1:1 ratio). Meaning, if you’re using 1 tablespoon seasoning, add 1 tablespoon baking powder and mix until well combined.
Step 3: Cook the Lardons
Place the lardons in your air fryer. Spray fryer cage with avocado, ghee, or olive oil spray.* Set fryer to 400°F, and cook for 20 minutes. Bada boom! Once you’ve prepared the lardons, it’s time to construct the salad.
*Olive oil is safe to cook with as long as you’re not exceeding 405°F.
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Fat-feast disguised as salad. SO good!
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Place bacon in a glass dish and bake until nice and crispy (about 10 minutes).
- While bacon is cooking, wash lettuce. Chop into quarters and place on a plate.
- Wash and quarter tomato and arrange around lettuce.
- Drizzle blue cheese dressing over lettuce.
- Top lettuce with blue cheese crumbles.
- Once bacon has cooled, chop into bits and sprinkle over dressing.
- Serve with fresh lardons.
Some people are really put off by blue cheese, in which case you could substitute with cheddar.
Option to substitute with Homemade Ranch Dressing.
See above. Option to omit lardons, or replace with extra bacon. 🙂
- Serving Size: 1 Giant Salad
- Calories: 388
- Sugar: 9g
- Fat: 33g
- Carbohydrates: 13g
- Fiber: 4g
- Protein: 14g
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