If you have never tried pork belly, my friend and boss, Alex will tell you it’s “bacon’s older, wiser and more handsome brother”. It’s every bacon lover’s dream come true: bigger, yummier, juicier bacon! It’s the perfect topping for burgers and salads or in benedict’s for breakfast (as you will notice if you ever stop into Jake’s.. Pork belly is all over the menu!)
Pork belly isn’t one of those things that you can easily find at the supermarket but if you stop into your local butcher they will more often then not have some, or tell you when it will be available. This recipe has been a long time coming for me. I absolutely love pork belly and when I found out I could get some at Sutter Meats I was thrilled! I’m not going to lie I tried to make it a few different ways, taking some ideas from recipes I had seen online and pointers from the butcher on how to cook it, but I just never go the results that I wanted. At Jake’s we have perfectly cooked crispy pork belly and although it took me 3 tries, I finally got the same results! (Thank you Alex for your cooking tips!)
I will say where I went wrong was by thinking I could cook the pork belly in a short period of time (aka have it ready by the time my burgers were done cooking) and thats just not possible! This recipe requires a lot of prep and a lot of cooking time but its SO worth it. Give it a shot!
- Make Pork Broth
- Cure Pork Belly
- Braise Pork Belly
- Sear Pork Belly
Total time needed is approximately 3 days. You can make the pork broth in the crockpot (24 hrs) while you are curing the pork belly (3 days) and on the last day allow about 6 hours to cook, cool and sear the pork belly.
- 1/2 lb. pork belly with skin
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
- 1/4 tsp. coriander
- 1/8 tsp. cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp. cloves
- 1/4 tsp. ground fennel (optional, omit for AIP)
- 2 cups pork broth (use the same recipe as my bone broth but swap the marrow bones for pork bones)
-First and foremost, make sure you have pork broth and a few days to make the pork belly before you need it!
-Score the skin side of the pork belly with a sharp knife, be careful because although the skin is though, the layer of fat below it cuts very easily!
-Combine sea salt, black pepper, coriander, cinnamon, cloves and fennel in a small bowl
-Rub herb mixture into the pork on all sides
-Let the pork cure in the refrigerator for 3 days on a wire rack
-On day 3, rinse the pork belly, cut into desired sized chunks and place it in a stock pot (one that has a lid)
-Cover pork belly with pork broth and place it in a 250 degree oven, covered, for 4-5 hours
-Remove from oven and let cool in the refrigerator
-Once chilled, remove the pork belly from the braising liquid and cut the skin off of each piece
-Sear the skin and pork belly in a skillet over medium heat until the skin is crispy and most of the fat has rendered off of the pork belly
-Save the fat to cook with!
Notes: The pieces of skin will get nice and crispy! These are called “cracklings” and I like to use them as crunchy snacks, croutons on salads, or chop them finely to use as a garnish for plates that can use a kick of flavor and a little crunch! I think they got their name because they are probably as addicting as crack… seriously, you will see!
Pork Belly Slices
Bonus cracklin’s and bacon fat 🙂