Braised Pork Belly

People are always crazy about pork belly. Who would not stop thinking about it, tempting scent as it gets cooked, sizzling meat with drips of sauces, DAMN! Do I have to explain a thing or do you get the picture that I’m trying to paint?!

Here’s one of the great recipes I would love to try. I love the ingredients being used in this recipe, I could smell the herbs & spices. One trick when you’re going to make the sauce, make sure to cook the juices in a very low heat because when it starts to reduce its volume, juice would tend to become a bit sticky rather than be evaporated when in high heat. I tell you, sauce can make a big difference or shall I say it’s the major factor that could cause the difference so do it right!

Ingredients:

-1/2 pork belly (approximately 6 lbs)

Rubbing the belly – day one
-1 tablespoon coriander seed
-1 tablespoon fennel seed
-½ teaspoon cumin seed
-1 clove
-1 allspice
-1 teaspoon pepper corns

Brining the belly – day two
-2 quarts water
-1 ½ cups kosher salt
-1/2 cup sugar
-2 bay leaves
-2 quarts ice cold water
-1 large ziploc bag

Braising the belly – day three
-6 cloves garlic, crushed and peeled
-1 large yellow onion, chopped
-1 stalk of celery, chopped
-2 carrots, peeled and chopped
-1 cup white wine
-3 cups chicken stock or water

Directions:

Rubbing the belly – day one:

Coarsely grind these spices and toast them in a heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Trim the fat down to about ¾ inch on the outer layer, if necessary. Score the belly. Rub the spices all over the belly. Let it sit overnight in the refrigerator.

Brining the belly – day two:

Heat 2 quarts of water over medium high heat. Add the sugar, salt, and bay leaves. Stir and heat until the sugar and salt dissolves. Add the remaining 2 quarts of water. Place the rubbed belly into the ziploc, add the brine, seal it and let it rest in the refrigerator.

Braising the belly – day three:

Preheat the oven to 325°F.
Remove the belly from the refrigerator, pat it dry, and allow it to come to room temperature. Heat a large, heavy dutch oven over medium-high heat and brown the belly on both sides.
Add the chopped veg, the wine, and the stock or water. Bring the heat up on this and then cover with a lid and cook in the oven for 2 1/2 to 3 hours or until the pork is incredibly tender.
Remove from the oven, take the pork, move it to another pan, and keep it covered. Remove the visible fat from the remaining pan juices by either skimming it off or pouring it through cheesecloth.
Return the juices to the pan, add wine and water or stock if necessary and reduce over medium-high until the consistency meets your needs. Taste for seasoning.
Serve the belly portions in a shallow bowl with the pan juices.

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2 comments on “Braised Pork Belly

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