13 February 2012

Pork Belly

After an initial experiment with pork belly-to-bacon that went good-not-great, I was determined to learn my lessons and treat that most excellent of meats with the care it deserves. This was not simple, but it was totally worth it.


  1. Take pork belly, wash and pat dry
  2. 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.
  3. When ready to smoke, remove from brine, rinse and pat dry.
  4. Smoke for three hours; remove and let cool.
  5. At this point it makes a great bacon (I used one for this purpose), but there's also a highly recommended second step.
  6. Heat oven to 250 degrees.
  7. 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)
  8. Let simmer in oven for three hours
  9. 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.
  10. When soup is ready - or maybe a pork bun, or really anything - heat a cast iron skillet to medium-high. Don't be shy! 
  11. Drop the belly in the pan with tongs and spatula at the ready to prevent from sticking. It will sizzle something wonderful.
  12. Cook for about a minute on each side to crisp up the belly proper
  13. Set aside, slice and serve with soup or direct application to mouth.
  14. Enjoy! 


Well, just amazing. Really.

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