Peppered Pork Jowl and Fried Green Tomato BLT with Spicy Mayo

Peppered Pork Jowl and Fried Green Tomato BLT

Peppered Pork Jowl and Fried Green Tomato BLT. (All photos credit: George Graham)

Americans are addicted to bacon in all its crispy glory, but those in the know are turning to pork jowl, a chic and trendy ingredient that has been a staple of the Deep South and Cajun pantries for the past century.  Italians have long treasured this ingredient as an alternative to pancetta incorporating a cured version called guanciale into their pasta dishes.

Pork jowl is simply the fat, cheeky mound of flesh taken from each side of a pig’s head.  In its smoked form, it is a common ingredient for seasoning many Southern dishes, but when sliced thin into bacon-type strips and peppered, it becomes a superior stand-in for bacon.  Check your local butcher for pork jowl or these days you can find it in most supermarket refrigerated sections where bacon is sold.  At least south of the Mason Dixon line.

In this recipe, pork jowl, when peppered and paired with fried green tomatoes, makes an especially tasty elevated version of a BLT sandwich.  It’s an all-natural use of farm-to-table ingredients celebrating Southern culture and the importance of the whole hog as a food source.

Indulge.  You deserve it.

Très cheek.

Pork Jowl BLT ingredients

Green tomatoes ready for the fryer.

4.5 from 2 reviews
Peppered Pork Jowl and Fried Green Tomato BLT with Spicy Mayo
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe by:
Serves: 4
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 2 tablespoons hot sauce
  • ½ cup Creole mustard
  • 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • Sea salt
  • 16 strips peppered pork jowl bacon
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1 tablespoon cayenne pepper
  • 1 large egg
  • 1 cup buttermilk
  • 2 cups panko breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons Cajun seasoning
  • 1 cup peanut oil
  • 2 large green tomatoes, sliced ½-inch-thick
  • 4 large romaine lettuce leaves
  • 8 slices white sandwich bread
  1. In a mixing bowl, add the mayonnaise, hot sauce and Creole mustard and combine. Add in the lemon juice, a pinch of sea salt and stir together and refrigerate.
  2. In a cast-iron skillet over medium heat, place each of the strips flat on the surface. Fry until browned on one side and turn over. Continue frying until all fat renders out and the pork jowl is crisp. Remove strips to a paper towel-lined plate and add more fresh-cracked black pepper.
  3. Add the flour to a shallow bowl and blend in the cayenne.
  4. In another bowl, whisk one egg with buttermilk and a dash of hot sauce and set aside.
  5. Blend the panko breadcrumbs with the Cajun seasoning in a shallow pan and set aside. In three different stations, line up the flour, egg mixture, and panko breadcrumbs.
  6. In a cast-iron skillet on medium heat add the peanut oil and bring to 375ºF. Coat each tomato slice in flour and shake off the excess. Submerge into the egg mixture and place in the seasoned panko breading. Pat firmly so the breadcrumbs stick to each side of the tomatoes and move to a wire rack. Gently add the breaded tomato slices to the hot oil making sure not to crowd the pan. Fry on 1 side until browned and turn once with a spatula and continue frying until golden brown, about 2 minutes on each side. Move the fried tomatoes back to the wire rack and season with sea salt immediately.
  7. Slather each slice of the white bread with the mayo. On the bottom place a large romaine lettuce leaf. Cover the lettuce with 3 strips of the fried pork jowl bacon and place 2 fried green tomato slices on top. Serve open-face or close the sandwich with the top slice of bread. Serve with bread and butter pickles.
Seek out Blue Plate mayonnaise and you will taste a truly unique Louisiana product that is widely hailed as the best mayo on the market. You may be tempted to build this sandwich on an artisan loaf of sourdough, 14 grain or some other fancy shmancy bread. Don’t do it. Stay true to the down-home roots of this sandwich and find the most basic loaf of sliced white bread you can find. Evangeline Maid is our Acadiana white bread and is a real slice of heaven— pillowy soft texture with a heady aroma of yeast. It’s been around forever, and the old rotating loaf of Evangeline Maid on the bakery sign is still turning after over 50 years.
The iconic, rotating Evangeline Maid Sign

The iconic, rotating Evangeline Maid sign.

YOUR SEAT AT THE TABLE:  If you like this story and recipe then accept my personal invitation to subscribe by entering your email at the bottom or top right of this page.  It’s quick and painless.  You will receive an email alert and be the first to see when new stories and recipes are added.  Thanks, George.



  1. wynnew says

    Not sure if I’m chic enough for cheek, but the panko breadcrumbs I think will be the difference in my fried green tomatoes! Thanks!

  2. levi says

    Tried “Jowl” bacon for the first time ever tonight and I would try it on anything. I will definitely do this BLT. I tried it making egg and cheese sandwiches with pork “jowl” bacon. Depressing that I am 34 and this is the 1st time I ever tried it

  3. nola2chi says

    Shhhhhhh! Don’t be tellin’ everybody!
    Jowl has been my friend for many years. I buy from a small farm that raises happy pigs. The rendered jowl fat is a secret ingredient in many things I cook.

  4. PJ Bordelon says

    Thank you!! it’s rare to find true recipes from my neck of the swamp, similar to what i remember from childhood, so far from home. I’m in the northwest now and feeding lots of folks new styles of some wonderful, old ingredients.

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