- Take pork belly, wash and pat dry
- Put belly in a brine - I won't go over it again here, but a basic not-too-salty brine is recommended (bourbon and maple don't hurt - I added onion powder and fried garlic to this one [with excellent results]) - and put in the fridge for five days to a week. Either a sealed Ziploc or airtight tupperware will do.
- When ready to smoke, remove from brine, rinse and pat dry.
- Smoke for three hours; remove and let cool.
- At this point it makes a great bacon (I used one for this purpose), but there's also a highly recommended second step.
- Heat oven to 250 degrees.
- Put pork belly in covered Dutch oven or Pyrex container, and cover with either pork stock or water (if, for some reason, you don't have pork stock - which you should)
- Let simmer in oven for three hours
- Remove from oven and set pork belly aside; reserve stock either for later or add to simmering broth for ramen or other soup. Not surprisingly, it adds a deliciously smoky, creamy wondrousness to any soup.
- When soup is ready - or maybe a pork bun, or really anything - heat a cast iron skillet to medium-high. Don't be shy!
- Drop the belly in the pan with tongs and spatula at the ready to prevent from sticking. It will sizzle something wonderful.
- Cook for about a minute on each side to crisp up the belly proper
- Set aside, slice and serve with soup or direct application to mouth.
Well, just amazing. Really.