It would also be missing the lower parts of the legs. Sides of beef are usually hung vertically from hooks, ideal for carnal embrace, if that is what takes your fancy.I would take it to mean a half carcass, cleaned of guts, and with the skin removed.
This is the same meaning for side of bacon that tunaafi referred to in post #9.A whole side of bacon was hanging from a hook on the ceiling.
This is a different meaning for side of bacon. There really isn't any disagreement here, Raymond. It is not reasonable to believe that three strips of bacon would be hanging from a hook for any reason.A side of bacon in normal American usage for most people would be a reference to a side order of bacon added to your breakfast order in a restaurant.