Polish Bacon Spread {Smalec}

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Polish Bacon Spread {Smalec}

Smalec [smah-lets] is a dish made of rendered pork fat with onions and spices. It is spread on bread and topped with onions or pickles. The recipe is as old as the old country and there is a reason why it survived through all the turbulences in Polish history. For centuries, it was a cheap and substantial meal for the working class, and a creative way of using ALL of the meat.  AND it’s just plainly delicious. It also became somewhat of a symbol of Polish hospitality. I’ve seen many traditional Polish restaurants serve it as a free starter. 

I would consider my smalec recipe a “fancy” version. I add apples and fragrant spices. I also tend to add a bit more bacon as I like the bacon bits that end up a bit crunchy. Who doesn’t like that?!

Polish Bacon Spread {Smalec}

Polish Bacon Spread {Smalec}

  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 1 - 1.5 hrs

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of pork fat
  • 0.5 lbs of raw bacon (preferably unsmoked)
  • 4 medium onions (about 2 cups chopped)
  • 2 tart apples
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp caraway seed

Instructions

  1. Have your butcher course grind the pork fat, if possible. Dice bacon. Set a large pot to a medium heat and add just the pork fat. Render until all white is liquid and the bits start turning brown. This may take about 30-45 min.

  2. Then add bacon and continue rendering until bacon bits start browning, for another 30 minutes or so.

  3. In the mean time dice onions and shred the apples. When bacon bits are starting to brown, add onions and apples. Sauté until onions are nicely golden brown.

  4. Finally, at the end add minced garlic, pepper, salt, marjoram and caraway seeds, stir well and cook for a couple of minutes.

  5. Transfer to jars or decorative dishes and set aside to cool completely. Refrigerate. It will stay fresh in the fridge for weeks.

Notes

Serve with good quality bread. Top with slices of pickles and/or fresh onions.

Does that sound delicious or what?!

Polish Bacon Spread {Smalec}

  • Prep Time: 15 min
  • Cook Time: 1 - 1.5 hrs

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs of pork fat
  • 0.5 lbs of raw bacon (preferably unsmoked)
  • 4 medium onions (about 2 cups chopped)
  • 2 tart apples
  • 10 garlic cloves
  • 1/2 tsp of freshly ground pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tbs marjoram
  • 1/4 tsp caraway seed

Instructions

  1. Have your butcher course grind the pork fat, if possible. Dice bacon. Set a large pot to a medium heat and add just the pork fat. Render until all white is liquid and the bits start turning brown. This may take about 30-45 min.

  2. Then add bacon and continue rendering until bacon bits start browning, for another 30 minutes or so.

  3. In the mean time dice onions and shred the apples. When bacon bits are starting to brown, add onions and apples. Sauté until onions are nicely golden brown.

  4. Finally, at the end add minced garlic, pepper, salt, marjoram and caraway seeds, stir well and cook for a couple of minutes.

  5. Transfer to jars or decorative dishes and set aside to cool completely. Refrigerate. It will stay fresh in the fridge for weeks.

Notes

Serve with good quality bread. Top with slices of pickles and/or fresh onions.

Hope you try this recipe soon.

Smacznego!

Anna

 

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7 Comments

  1. Pamietam te sloiczki, bralo sie do internatu, jak sie sloiczek otworzylo, cale skrzydlo przybieglo po zapachu na caly korytarz, cos pysznego, mnie sie wydaje, ze moja mama, wszystkie te skwarki przekrecala przez maszynke do miesa, troche duzo roboty, ale placa sie, polecam!

    1. Beverly, mi też zdarzało się mielić boczek/słoninę przez maszynkę ale wolę jednak krojony (większe skwarki). Dzięki za podpowiedź 😉
      Anna

      ps. skąd ja znam te studenckie jedzenie <3 🙂

  2. What kind of pork fat do you recommend? I’m having trouble finding it, believe it or not! Also having trouble finding bacon that isn’t smoked.

    1. Fatty pork belly. I believe it, some areas it’s very hard to find. Try finding the fattiest cut/piece of smoked, one that will have some fat to melt.

    2. My butcher thought I was crazy when I said I wanted pork fat to make lard. When I asked if he had trimmed fat off any roasts, then he HD an idea of what I was looking for, and easily found 5 lbs. for me. It still had some meat on it, but I didn’t care about shape, thickness, etc., so we were both happy with the transaction. He sold what he would have disposed of, and I had fat for lard.

  3. My grandmother used to spread rendered pork fat on thick slabs of rye bread. We called it “piggy butter”. It was delicious. Your recipe is the first one I have ever seen for this old treat. I am going to try your recipe.

  4. If I wanted to can this or preserve it should I Pressure can it since it is meat? And for how long in the pressure canner? I do not want to store it in the refrigerator for months. I cannot wait to cook this wonderful treat for my husband.
    We were in Poland for a month the summer of 2019 and we traveled all over primarily from the sleeping knight in the south near Zakopane to Krakow and Warsaw and Lodz and Wroclaw Poznan Malborc and Gdan’sk. The most amazing trip we have ever taken. I loved all the history, the castles, the scenery. The people were proud to show me how they made their cheese and to smoke it delish! The food was always so good and there was a lot of it. We would buy sundried tomatoes just for snacks in the car. I would love to return again and see other parts of Poland we missed.

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