Cooking pork belly instead of ribs
May 3, 2014 4:24 AM Subscribe
Sent my spouse on an errand to buy pork ribs for dinner. He came back without ribs, as the butcher didn't have any, but the butcher instead sold him pork belly with the skin cut off saying it's "the same thing, just no bones." While I'm not opposed to pork belly generally I'm not sure how I should cook it to still get the BBQ fix I'm going for. Details inside; advice requested.
posted by olinerd to Food & Drink (5 answers total) 8 users marked this as a favorite
(Note that this is not taking place in the US which is why the butcher apparently thinks when I want ribs I'm fine with pork belly)
So basically, I have cooked ribs before. I have also cooked pork belly before. I cook them really, really differently, and I've never actually had pork belly done BBQ-style. And tonight, I very specifically wanted the BBQ ribby goodness. Here's how I cook both; I would like to know how to cook the pork belly more like the ribs without ruining the belly (because I have ruined it before and it was sad). How do I do this?
How I usually cook ribs:
Rub with my father's proprietary spice rub
Stand on their sides in a Dutch oven, a couple of splashes of water and a bit of Liquid Smoke on the bottom
In the oven at 200 deg F for 6-8 hours
Yields: amazing ribs with the meat falling right off the bone, delicious vehicle for BBQ sauce
How I usually cook belly:
Rub skin with olive oil and salt
Sit on top of four onion halves on tin foil, sides of tin foil folded up to tightly cover the sides but not the skin
Low heat for several hours, pour off juices to use later (reduced with balsamic vinegar and star anise as a glaze), then high heat for 45 mins to crisp the skin
Yields: amazing tender pork belly with nice crispy crackling, but which is nothing at all like what I consider BBQ
My husband is telling me to "just cook the pork belly like the ribs" but the ribs basically end up being steamed, whereas the belly is so incredibly fatty, I don't want it sitting in the bottom of the oven poaching in its own grease.
Am I basically going to end up with pulled pork? Other advice/thoughts?
Note that all we have at our disposal is an oven. No grill, bbq, smoker, etc. We are also specifically going for American-style BBQ, not East Asian-influenced flavors (which is mostly what Google is giving me for recipes).