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Let's Talk Pork Belly

post #1 of 17
Thread Starter 
Finally, after months of looking for fresh pork belly in specialty meat markets around the city I went ahead and ordered a 3-4lb cut. It will be arriving next week so I have some time to plan on what I'm going to do with it. I've never cooked a pork belly before and would like to do something really tasty. I'm not interested in making bacon this time but if anyone has recipes or suggestions on how to handle this beast I welcome them, especially sauces.

So far I'm thinking of going the Gordon Ramsay route Wonder How To » How To Videos & How-To Articles

Market Manila - Flattened Pork Belly a la Ramsay - General

I'm probably going to incorporate lemon in this recipe, probably instead of the wine, not sure if I should though.

I've never had pork belly as a main dish before, only as bacon or pancetta. I imagine it's going to be pretty fatty. Hubby won't be happy about that but I'll be in heaven!

How do you pork belly?!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #2 of 17
I like pork, but find pork belly just too fatty for my tastebuds, so I don't cook it at all. Husband will occasionally order dishes in restaurants, though.
post #3 of 17
I like the look of Gordon Ramsay's one, I think also Heston Blumenthal has one of his own....haven't googled it yet but should be out there. If you have 3 days to spare :)

I love pork belly too, but no-one else in the family does :( I like to cube it to make sweet and sour pork.

Enjoy it...I'm jealous! Can I come along? :)

Make sure to save any drippings for future use...yummm
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 Don't handicap your children by making their lives easy.
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post #4 of 17
I sometimes think of trying to track one down here in Salt Lake. I keep wanting to try a red-cooked pork belly, which is a Hunan style low and slow braise with ginger, anise, etc. There's probably many thousands of recipes for it on the net, wish I could recommend one from experience.

mjb.
Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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Food nourishes my body.  Cooking nourishes my soul.
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post #5 of 17
Thread Starter 
The recipies I've been looking at all seem to say cook for 2.5 hours. Does that apply for any sized pork belly? I think mine will be somewhere between 3-5lbs. How would I adjust the cooking time for that? In my mind I would think this cut would need a much longer time to cook, similar to a pork shoulder... I may be wrong.

I'm going to try the 2 day method, pressed pork belly as it seems so pretty. I will use the drippings to make some sort of sauce.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #6 of 17
Here, my family likes to cook it as soup. Simple, just cut it into bitesize and boil it over chicken broth, served with spring onions. It should be washed extra clean for fear of overpowering stench, and boiled pretty long to make it chewy and soft. Unfortunately I have no idea as for how long D: (And the housemaid who cooked it left the house. ****.)

I'd guess it's Chinese style since my household is one.
post #7 of 17
I have been doing a lot of this lately, cook it low and slow on some veggies and add two or three cups of cider after the first 30 or 40 minutes, the steam helps it along and gives a wonderful flavour. When you have pressed and chilled it a la Ramsey, portion it into squares and with a small sharp knife take off the thin layer of rubbery skin. When reheating cook the skin between two baking sheets with greaseproof paper to give the best crackling ever. :thumb:
post #8 of 17
Weighting pork belly between cooking stages is a fairly common technique.

Because you are braising, there shouldn't be a significant cooking time between a 2.5-3 pound piece and a 3-5 lb piece, especially since the thickness is what effects cooking time. That is, it doesn't matter how big the total area is, so long as the thickness is about the same.

If you're feeling ambitious, Paula Wolfert has a great sounding recipe for Orange-Glazed Pork Belly, in her new Mediteranean Clay Pot Cooking. Making it is a two-three day affair, however, after brining it for three days.

First she brines the pork belly, then braises in in sweet muscatel wine with onions. After cooking it is weighted overnight, then sliced and slowly glazed in a reduction made from caramelized sugar, sweet muscatel vinegar, and orange juice.

It's definately on my to-try list.
They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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They have taken the oath of the brother in blood, in leavened bread and salt. Rudyard Kipling
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post #9 of 17
It may be of interest, or not. I just posted a recipe for a Chinese style braised pork on the recipe thread. Take a look and tell me what you think.

BDL

PS. Take a look at my blog, too. A couple of new postings there.
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post #10 of 17
Thread Starter 
Great tip on the crackling Bazza!

Pork belly seems to be an underrated cut of meat. I have never known anyone to cook and serve it in their homes and I rarely see it on menus. Why do you think that is? Could it be the fat content that is offputting?

In Greece it's a very popular cut of steak they call pancetta. They slice it like bacon only in 1/2 inch thickness and then grill it like a pork chop. I don't particularly care for it in this way because it is too chewy and it definitely needs a low slow method to tenderize.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #11 of 17
I would say so.. :|
post #12 of 17
Thread Starter 
Didn't want to leave y'all hanging so here's my one and only attempt to make pork belly.



Preparing the garlic and thyme rack.


Ready for the oven


After roasting for nearly 3 hours it was pressed and cooled down, heavily weighed down.


Cracklin


Served with braised leek mashed potatoes, and pan gravy.

The verdict is in (from we who ate it) and we will never be making this again. Loved it, loved making it, loved eating it. But the cut is just too rich and fatty to eat it on any regular basis. It was a great experiment nonetheless!

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #13 of 17
I'd think that serving smaller portions would be the best way to go with this cut of meat. BTW there's 16 pounds of belly defrosting in my kitchen right now. To be transformed into apple wood smoked bacon. :roll:

Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

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Brot und Wein
(1 photos)
 
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Best and I'm a foodie.   I know very little but the little that I know I want to know very well.

 

-T

Brot und Wein
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post #14 of 17
Koukouvagia
Nice photographs... I totally agree with your comments!
post #15 of 17
Thread Starter 
I realize that now. I couldn't get halfway through my piece so lots of left overs. It's funny, it almost looks like the meat is eating the potatoes on the plate :lol:.
Thanks Ishbel.

"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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"You are what you eat, so don't be fast, cheap, easy, or fake."

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post #16 of 17
I agree with this one. Ohh geez I was wrong posting my first one. I am sorry I was reading something and something came out. I'm sorry.
post #17 of 17
Dont know if you ran across this recipe or not in your search but I tried this one and found it to be quite good. It cooks it twice which reduces alot of the "fattyness".
Food & Drink : Emeril's New Orleans' Asian-Style Braised Pork Belly : Fine Living
Ya I know it is from a tv show but hey its good!

:rolleyes:
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