Back in the day, in the Chicago Mercantile Exchange, pork belly futures were traded. It was a market that made sense. Year round, pork was produced, the bellies were frozen and in the summer, when demand was high, bellies were defrosted and bacon was produced. So, there was a time lag between the expensive end of production and eventual consumption. This created an opportunity to turn a couple of quid. Weather patterns, political and social attitudes and even religion could have a marked effect on the future price of a bacon, lettuce and tomato sandwich. Traders in brightly coloured jackets, worked the floor of the ‘Belly Pit’ in the Mercantile right up until 2011, squeezing a profit out of pork belly futures.
In today’s world, the Mercantile traders still wear brightly coloured jackets but no longer shout things like “Sell pork bellies, buy oil at 5.36”. They are moving to automated systems to trade everything that has margin potential from grain to the weather. They robotically believe that they know the price of everything, now and in the future. Though the romantic sounding (for some) ‘pork belly futures’ no longer exist, the future value of a nice bit of pork can be enhanced and a dividend can be earned by feeding the family.
Invest in a nice piece of pork belly and let me show you how to prepare Pork with Honey Soy Sauce. This will develop your marginal propensity to consume. If you do this right, you might add some real value to pork bellies and who knows, there may yet be a future in their futures.
- 1.5k (3lb) piece of free range pork belly
- 3 to 4 stalks of lemongrass
- 3 to 4 star anise
- 1 bulb single clove garlic or 4 cloves regular.
- 6 to 8 slices of root ginger
- Teaspoon of mixed peppercorns
- 2 bay leafs
- 2 tablespoons of light soy sauce
- 2 tablespoons of clear honey
Place the belly in a shallow roasting tray. Add the aromatics and water until the belly is nearly covered (By covered, I don’t mean ‘insured against flooding or other natural disasters’. That belongs in a different financial lesson).
Cover the dish with a foil tent and place it into a 200°c (400°F) oven for an hour and a half. This is best done after markets are closed. Not because we are going to do any after-market trading. Because we need to turn the oven off after the bell (oven, not NYSE) and leave overnight to continue cooking on the reducing heat.
While the pork is cooking, mix the soy and honey in a small saucepan an stir over a medium heat until the ingredients combine and reduce by about half (Invest in Bitcoin if you want to see your cash reduce by a half.)
Place the pieces in the oven for 10 minutes or so. Heat the grill to finish off the skin, until crispy. This should take a couple of minutes. You will need to watch it more closely than you would your portfolio during a stock market crash.
Serve the pork, allowing your guests to add as much or as little sauce as they like. They will be impressed. Let the conversation flow. But, keep away from the subject of investment. The wise investors amongst your guests will keep quiet. The ones who should not be heard will dispense investment advice with ease. With about as much ease as you will have cooked the pork. We may not have a Belly Pit in the Mercantile any more. But, we do have a tasty future for pork bellies. Do give it a go.