Lamb Bacon with Chef Paul Desiano

Amy Kundrat

A fixture in Ridgefield's marketplace, Cello Restaurant seems to be in a perpetual state of experimentation. The last dining experience I had there was at an East meets West Sake dinner (Paul is Italian and his wife is Japanese) where their mult-course menu blended their native cuisines, pairing them with wine and sake. Running into Paul at The Marketplace (a group of artisan gourmet food and craft shops) in Ridgefield one afternoon, the conversation turned to his latest passion for the interesting cuts of meat he is procuring from Craft Butchery in Saugatuck. Although I was intrigued to share a 36-hour Confit of [Pork] Jowel, it seemed a bit ambitious for the majority of home cooks who may not yet have sprung for a sous vide supreme. So we settled on sharing his recipe for lamb bacon. Paul pairs this to the jowl dish which is served with a rosemary parsnip puree and braised red cabbage.

Chef Paul Desiano's Lamb Bacon Recipe

Lamb Bacon Cure:

1 cup diamond kosher salt
1 cup dark brown sugar
2 tablespoons roasted garlic
2 tablespoons pink salt
2 cups prepared decafe coffee
1/4 cup molasses
2 tblsp smoked paprika (if you cant cold smoke the belly)

Cure for 18 hours per inch of height of the belly.  Flip half way through
(sub 1.5 bays per 1 pound of pork belly)

Take out of cure, belly should feel firm and cured

Cold Smoke 3 times (if not possible, SMOKED paprika works well)

Rinse with cold water and pat dry

Brush with a maple syrup and black pepper mixture and roast at 325 degrees
for 15 minutes (sub 30 minutes for pork belly)

Cool and press in refrigerator for 4 hours (2 pound weight is sufficient)


Cello Restaurant (formerly Plate) is located at 103 Danbury Road in Ridgefield, CT.