Unctuous Pork Belly

09. June 2009 Pork 0

Could there be a better word to describe pork belly other than unctuous? I’ve loved that word ever since I experienced the cooking of Chef Fergus Henderson in London back in 2005. Seeing that word in the New York Times a few weeks ago when they featured Adam Perry Lang’s Serious Barbecue recipe brought back good food memories. I saved the barbecue article and it came in handy when it was time to inaugurate the Dr.’s backyard with a small get-together.

We started the marinating process a day early and braised the meat for five hours the day of. It was a lot of time, but the result was definitely worth it. Note that during Step 4, you might need an extra hand transferring the pork from the baking dish to the grilling basket to keep it in one piece. The meat will fall apart with the gentlest poke and it will even be softer after grilling. Also, the original recipe called for bourbon, but whisky worked just fine for us.

I transferred the sieved braising juice to a Tupperware and stored it in the freezer: imagine the fried eggs we can cook with all that belly fat…

1 4-pound piece of pork belly, skin-on
1/4 cup whisky
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
2 tbsps unsalted butter
1/4 cup packed brown sugar
3 sprigs of parsley, roughly chopped
a splash of cider vinegar
1 tbsp lemon juice
red pepper flakes
salt, pepper

For the marinade:
1/4 cup cider vinegar
1/4 cup lemon juice
1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 sprigs of rosemary
3 sprigs of thyme
1 serrano pepper, sliced
10 cloves garlic, peeled and halved
salt, pepper

1. Put the pork belly in a large freezer bag with all the marinade ingredients plus 1 cup of water. Squeeze to remove air, then seal and refrigerate overnight.
2. When ready to cook, heat oven to 275º. Place pork in a 13-by-9-inch baking dish with marinade, butter and enough water to cover. Cover with heavy-duty foil, crimping edges tightly. Braise in oven 5 hours; let rest in pan, covered with the same foil, 2 hours.
3. Meanwhile, simmer whisky in a small pan over medium heat until alcohol aroma fades. Stir in sugar, parsley, vinegar and pepper flakes. Cover and set aside.
4. Heat a grill. Carefully remove pork from pan and place in a grilling basket. Grill skin-side down over medium-low heat for 15 to 20 minutes, until skin is crisp and golden. Remove from heat and brush skin side with 1/4 of the whisky glaze, then return to heat, skin-side up, for another 5 minutes. Remove pork from heat once more and brush meat side with 1/4 of the glaze, then return to heat, meat-side up, for another 5 minutes. Repeat with remaining glaze on both sides.
5. Place pork skin side up on cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes before taking apart and eating.

Related post/s:
Unctuous pork belly porn
I take my pork very seriously
My makeshift smoker at home