ilana freddye


The Belly of the Beast

It's definitely not kosher, or low-fat but it's pork belly and there's just nothing wrong with that.

Let me begin by saying I'm really hyped on what I made.
That being said, I now realize it's pretty hard to mess up pork belly. Don't let that downplay how delicious this belly was though. Maybe I'm getting cocky but it was really good, okay?

My intended destination was a Cobb salad with crispy pork belly instead of bacon but once the ball got rolling I was really intrigued by the idea of braising some of the meat, and who am I to turn down that kind of idea?

Take Note: pork belly is very cheap, have you ever bought anything else at whole foods for under $5.00? I bought 2 pounds, one to braise and one to roast.

  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees fahrenheit
  2. Score the fat side of the meat(by the way I used a one pound slab), this helps the skin crisp up all over, if your knife isn't doing the trick an xacto knife/blade works very well, just make sure it's clean!
  3. Generously salt the pork and throw some ground pepper on there too
  4. Place the pork belly (skin up) on a rack that is set on a sheet tray
  5. Pop it in the oven, after 5 minutes turn the oven down to 325 degrees fahrenheit. I probably left it in the oven for an hour and a half to two hours.
  6. Take the pork out and let it cool until you can handle it, then cut it into 1 inch chunks. I pretty much just cut along the scored lines.
  7. Let the pieces cool down and then place them, spaced out in a pan. Make sure you start with the pan cold or the meat/fat will stick to the pan!
  8. Turn the pan on medium low and let the sides of the pork crisp up, make sure to turn the pork as each side gets golden brown
  9. Remove the pork and let cool. I cut it up in smaller pieces after that but it would also be great in large pieces.
For the Cobb I also used the following:
Romaine lettuce, radishes, avocado, roast chicken, leftover roasted cauliflower, scallions, tomatoes, gorgonzola and hard boiled eggs.

For the dressing I used apple cider vinegar, olive oil, Worcestershire, honey, dijon mustard, salt & pepper.

Are you still there? 
Because I've got more pork belly for you!

Sorry I didn't measure but here's what I did:
  1. Score the skin
  2. Cut the pork into one inch cubes
  3. Place in a wide pot and add water, enough to just cover the pork
  4. Add this stuff: (estimated amounts)
    • ABC Sweet Soy Sauce (Kecap Manis), 1/4 cup
    • Rice Vinegar, 3/4 cup
    • Hoisin Sauce, 2 Tbl
    • Soy Sauce, 2 Tbl
    • Ketchup, 2 Tbl
    • Brown Sugar, 3 Tbl
    • Maple Syrup, 2 Tbl
  5. Then pop a lid on and let it all simmer over low/ med-low heat for 2 hours or until the meat is tender and the liquid has reduced
  6. Preheat the oven to 415 degrees fahrenheit
  7. Remove the meat and put it on rack on a sheet pan and put it in the oven for 5-10 minutes so it crisps up a bit. Make sure to keep an eye on it so it doesn't burn!
  8. These would be delicious as is but if you want to serve them in the sauce you can skim the fat off the cooking liquid and toss it all over some rice.

Be good to your belly!