Random piece of pork belly needs route to my stomach
December 10, 2009 6:15 AM   Subscribe

What do I do with a random piece of pork belly?

I got a random piece of pork belly in my CSA share. It's about an inch thick and 5 in by 4 in....yeah, and all my pork belly recipes call for lbs of pork belly in braises of about 4 hours. SHould I do the same with this? Any other ideas?
posted by melissam to Food & Drink (19 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Make these, just not 16 of them.
posted by magicbus at 6:22 AM on December 10, 2009

braise it for 3 or 4 hours, slice it, and make a couple of sandwiches with soft white bread, quick-pickled cucumbers, scallions, and hoisin sauce. based on the momofuku pork bun recipe (pork and bun)

The pork belly I buy comes in bacon-ish slices a quarter-inch thick, and the braising time to goodness is around 2.5 hours.

(on preview, this is the same food item as posted by magicbus, but two slightly different recipes)
posted by acidic at 6:23 AM on December 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

You could make a cassoulet.
posted by onhazier at 6:25 AM on December 10, 2009

Twice cooked pork.
posted by BobbyDigital at 6:26 AM on December 10, 2009

Ha, you can roast it. Score the rind of the belly so that it helps crisp the skin and lets the fat run off. You can do the tried and true with crushed fennel seeds, fine garlic and salt rub. Skin side down, Roast for half an hour at 425 degrees fahrenheit and then cook at 350 degrees for about 90 minutes. Let is settle for 5-10 minutes before slicing.

Now I am assuming that this is about maybe 2 pounds or more of pork belly and from a nice fatty heritage breed. You can, of course, adjust times for cooking.

This goes great with lentils with some dijon mustard.

An Asian variation would be with any warm spices e.g.,star anise, cinnamon, all spice with black pepper and some soy and rubbed all over.

Be sure that the pork is VERY dry, in particular, the skin or it won't crisp right prior to doing the scoring and spice rubbing.
posted by jadepearl at 6:28 AM on December 10, 2009

You do know what bacon is made out of, don't you?
posted by electroboy at 6:35 AM on December 10, 2009

Slice it thin and grill it to make samgyeopsal . It's one of my favorite dishes!
posted by Cat Pie Hurts at 6:52 AM on December 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

Do you know yakitori? People think that since it literally means grilled chicken that it's just chicken. It's not. Oh, it's so much more. One of the things on the list under 'non-poultry' is buta bara, which literally translates to pork belly, your little friend there. If you cut it into squares and thread it onto skewers like this (leeks not needed, but some folks like them), salt them, douse them in coarse cracked pepper, grilled them over a nice hot fire, then sprinkle them with a dash of chili powder (or shichimi, if you have it) you'll make what I would like for my last meal. If you grill it right, it gives you the firmness that properly cooked bacon has, but paired with a succulent juiceiness that probably should be illegal. It is the heaven.
posted by Ghidorah at 6:52 AM on December 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

Boston baked beans - use pork belly instead of bacon.
posted by plinth at 7:02 AM on December 10, 2009

In my fridge, right now, there is a piece of pork belly that I brined, and then confited in duck fat. Some of it, has been turned into rillettes. The rest of it is going to be fried until crispy-awesome this evening (:

(Some guy on the internet also did the confit thing. There are pictures. It's from the new Thomas Keller book, but very do-able.)
posted by ambilevous at 7:36 AM on December 10, 2009

I vote for a Vietnamese Carmelized Pork or a Chinese Red-Cooked Pork Belly recipe. I also vote that you invite me over for lunch!
posted by handabear at 8:00 AM on December 10, 2009

Dong Po Rou!

(as recently seen on MeFi in stone form)
posted by joshwa at 8:15 AM on December 10, 2009

These recipes look great, and I like red-cooking almost anything (here's another recipe, since the one above links to the Vietnamese dish instead of the pork belly). One nice feature of the red-cooked pork belly is that you blanch the neat, cut it into fairly small pieces, and the cooking time is fairly short (~1 hour).

On the other hand, that is a load of work for a 4 x 5 inch piece. I would go with any place you might you bacon as a flavoring -- baked beans sounds good, but also a lot of stews-like dishes. Here's a French lentil dish that would use up some of it -- the lentils wouldn't taste as smokey, but it would give a good flavor, I would think, and the dish is awesome and hearty, just the thing for these cold months (assuming you are in the northern hemisphere).
posted by GenjiandProust at 9:21 AM on December 10, 2009

Apologies. I forgot the link to the Chinese Red-Cooked Pork Belly recipe.
posted by handabear at 9:35 AM on December 10, 2009 [1 favorite]

This isn't the exact recipe that a Taiwanese friend makes but Pork Belly with Coca Cola & Soy Sauce is surprisingly really really good.
posted by wcfields at 11:07 AM on December 10, 2009

I've taken to slow cooking my little pork bellies, then sticking them in a super hot oven til the crackling crackles. Totally delicious and not much work. You also get bonus pork fat for roast potatoes. Salt, pepper, maybe a little olive oil. Not much to it except that awesome porky flavour.
posted by geek anachronism at 1:40 PM on December 10, 2009

Make the pancetta recipe from Polcyn / Ruhlman's Charcuterie. I did! It's excellent.
posted by sagwalla at 9:56 AM on December 11, 2009 [1 favorite]

Thanks for the tips! Even though it was small, apparently it did need the long cooking time still. I made the Momofuku pork bun recipe and it tasted great.
posted by melissam at 7:07 PM on December 15, 2009

« Older Buying Used Phone Quandry   |   Does every digitizer have an LCD soulmate? Newer »
This thread is closed to new comments.