There is a good reason for that. This next article in my series about Middle Earth food will teach you how to make your own salted pork. You won’t even have to pass through Fangorn or fight wizards for it! So get comfy and learn how to make your salted pork that Gimli approves.
In this article we will cover:
- Why Does Gimli Love Salted Pork?
- Preparation Steps for Salted Pork
- Summary of Gimli Approved Salted Pork Recipe
Why Does Gimli Love Salted Pork?
I’ll bet with you that the first thought in your mind is a mega-popular meme that came out from the scene at the beginning of the Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King. There is nothing wrong with that, every LOTR fan loves that meme. But, did you ever think about why did Gimli react in the way that he did?
Keep in mind that Merry did mention salted pork to Gimli in the books, but Gimli didn’t react like it was pictured in the movie. That was added for a comedic effect.
“‘…you need not turn your nose up at the provender, Master Gimli,’ said Merry. ‘This is not orc-stuff, but man-food as Treebeard calls it. Will you have Wine or Beer? There’s a barrel inside there–very passable. And this is first-rate salted pork.'”
-Meriadoc Brandybuck, in the storerooms at Isengard. The Lord of the Rings, Part 2: The Two Towers, Book III, Chapter 9: Flotsam and Jetsam
However, it makes sense that Gimli acted in that manner, and here’s why.
Dwarves are known for their love of tasty food and good beverage. Additionally, Gimli, Aragorn, and Legolas spent days chasing Uruk-Hai’s who were taking the hobbits to Isengard. It’s only natural that Gimli was exhausted and probably very hungry. Three of them combined are perfectly capable to hunt down a decent meal, but nothing beats good salted pork.
So, when you combine the naturally big appetite of dwarves with days of running through the wilderness, it’s normal that poor Gimli drooled at the very thought of salted pork.
It’s time to make your very own salted pork. Here are the ingredients that you are going to need.
- 8-10 ounces of sea salt, you can add more or less depending on how salty you want it to be
- 1/3 cup of brown sugar
- 2 and a half pounds of pork bellies, preferably cut into thin (half an inch) slices
- 2 or pieces of bay leaves
- 1 and a half teaspoon of crushed black peppercorns
Preparation Steps for Salted Pork
Pick up a small bowl. Mix salt, sugar, and peppercorn until the mixture is even. Take out pork bellies from the refrigerator. It’s important that bellies are cold. You can salt either one big piece of meat or you can cut it into two-inch pieces.
Take out another bowl. It should be big enough for you to put all the meat in it. Spread one thin layer of the mixture from the first bowl at the bottom of the bowl. Put enough meat on the mixture to cover it. Crush a bay leaf and sprinkle a bit on the meat. Add another layer of the mixture to the meat and spread more bay leaves. Repeat the process until all of the meat and spice mixture has been used up.
Cover the bowl with the meat with the aluminum foil and put the salted pork back into the refrigerator. Leave it there for 2 or 3 days. It will be enough time for the meat to absorb the mixture.
That’s it! You salted pork just like Gimli would’ve wanted.
How to Cook Salted Pork?
Once the meat has been in the fridge long enough, it’s time to cook it. If you don’t know what to do with it, here are some ideas.
Use it in Dishes
If you’ve cut your pork into strips or cubes, you can use it in all kinds of dishes. Toss it into stews or crackpots to add delicious flavor to them. Combination with beans is particularly good!
Fry it Like Bacon
You can fry the pork in the same way you would fry the bacon. Just reduce the excessive fat and serve it with fried eggs or vegetables such as potatoes or greens. Fat that will melt can be used as a foundation for sauces or soups. Of course, this fat is not particularly healthy to consume in large amounts, but using it once in a while won’t damage your health in a long run.
When you read this text and you try to picture nicely spiced pork bellies on your plate with some baked potatoes, you will realize why Gimli loves salted pork so much.
We hope that you’ll try to do this at home and that you will put our ideas to great use. All of us are trying to live as healthy as possible, but treating ourselves with a decent piece of pork meat every once in a while won’t cause any harm. Of course, this goes if you don’t have a serious health condition already.
In that case, listen to your doctor’s advice and stick to the diet that is prescribed to you.