Caucasian Curry

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PORK BELLY. Slow roasted and seared.

PORK BELLY...ooooh the possibilities...
cured for 24hrs, slow roasted and seared to order...

a delicious amuse bouche...the perfect bite dipped in maple syrup...
a tasty appetizer will keep your guests wanting more...
sliced and seared for amazing bacon and eggs...

i was completely amazed and fascinated by my first slab of pork belly. #1 i never put 2 and 2 together and figured out this is really just bacon in the raw. #2 i had no idea that the meat enveloped by all that fat is like the best pork chop i've ever tasted.

so far i think i've only scratched the surface on the preparation and consuming of pork belly. i think i like it most in the morning seared to order with a little maple syrup, but also it's pretty darn tasty wrapped in butter lettuce with a little chili garlic sauce.

as a matter o' fact i have one in the oven right now!...i'm trying Jamie Oliver's recipe. it's meant more for a family dinner pork roast with gravy type dinner...of coarse i'm the only one in the house that will be eating it. it looks like i'll be eatin' roast pork belly for a few days
every bite is different. as you can see in the photo above this is one of the cuts from the lean part. this is an example of the delicious pork chop bite i mentioned. i must admit i was a bit worried about the fat content, but quickly got over that when i took my first bite. it's hard to describe. you can't just take a have to take a big bite and get the whole experience of the moist meat, the tender fat and the crispy skin all at once.

on with the recipe

there are so many ways to prepare this lovely slab of pork i was confused so i ended up throwing alot of ideas together and came up with something pretty darn tasty...and fairly easy for the first time belly chef.
buy yourself a 2-2 1/2lb. slab of belly with bones
i like to wash and dry it completely with paper towels
mix 1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1-2 tsp fresh ground pepper

completely cover the belly with the mixture. place skin side down in non-reactive container just big enough to fit and cover the flesh side with more salt/sug. mixture. cover and let sit in fridge for at least 24 hours. this is the all important curing process. after about 12 hrs you can pour some of the liquid out of the container. i did. after 24 hrs remove and wash remaining salt off under cool water. dry completely. take a sharp sharp knife and cut slits through the skin but not to the flesh. i cut about every inch or so.

place the pork in a roasting dish covered with tinfoil and push foil up against the sides as shown in small photo below. this is to prevent the sides from getting too brown and it also keeps the bottom meat part cooking in it's own fat..kind of confit-like.
put in 225F degree oven for 5-6 hours.

about 3 hours in i basted the sides and the cut slits with some Soy Vay Hoisin Garlic Sauce. Teriyaki or BBQ sauce would work great to. do this every hour or so until you think it done...the flesh is fork tender and it has a little glaze going on the sides. remove from oven and let cool as is. when cool enough put it in the fridge for at least a few hours. this makes for easy slicing and you can keep it there for the week as you whittle away at the slab unless you decide to consume the whole thing with some pork belly lovin' friends.

now what you want to do is slice off about an inch thick piece and sear that on all sides in a very hot pan. i love to use my new SCANPAN. it's non-stick and can withstand high heat. don't forget to sear the skin top side. you'll have to hold it up with your tongs. it's worth it. serve as is and please try dipping it in a little of your favorite syrup...maple, blueberry even caramel...hmmmmm. the perfect bite will change your pork lovin' world.

the picture to the right is an example of how i put it in the oven. there was so much meat showing that i didn't want it to be exposed to the heat for the full 6 hours so i crunched the aluminum up around it.

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