What to do with 2 smallish pieces of pork belly?
March 16, 2013 12:35 PM   Subscribe

Yay: I have 5 lbs. of pork belly. Boo: It's in two pieces. What can I do with it/them? Normally I use the recipe from the Momofuku cookbook, but it shrinks so much I'm worried that these two small pieces might shrink down so much as to be unusable, or overcook. And anyway, I'd like to try something new. So, fellow porkophiles, any suggestions?

Relevant details: The two pieces are of roughly equal size. They do not have the skin attached. I'd like to eat the result within the next 2 days, so nothing with a curing period longer than 24 hours. I already have enough bacon. (I know, sounds crazy, but I seriously have a freezer full of bacon and don't need more for awhile.)
posted by rhiannonstone to Food & Drink (14 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
The recipe calls for 3lb. of pork, so I don't know why that would be an issue. You have more than the recipe calls for, and you could smush those two pieces together while in the oven.
posted by xingcat at 12:40 PM on March 16, 2013

Response by poster: Thanks, xingcat, I typo'd--the two pieces total just over 3 lbs., not 5.
posted by rhiannonstone at 12:42 PM on March 16, 2013

Traditional poached bossam.

Slice and do open Korean BBQ with samgyupsal.
posted by WasabiFlux at 12:52 PM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Buta kakuni.
posted by Tanizaki at 12:55 PM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

Best answer: Getting a weird vibe from this post, because last night I cooked up two pieces of pork, totaling the same weight, with what has become the routine way to cook said belly in our house; the momofuku method.

No fear for overcooking, really, as the pieces are so damn fatty they almost baste themselves. The only thing that I found differed from a normal batch I do? More crispies. You've got more surface area for browning, and it tastes fantastic. If you're really concerned about them drying out, you should just do a full-on brine instead of the sugar/salt rub.

Failing, that, I usually use scraps of belly for Buta Kimchi. I have followed that recipe quite a few times, and it is pretty bulletproof, but I do find the pork performs better if you use Chang's sugar/salt routine.
posted by furnace.heart at 12:56 PM on March 16, 2013 [3 favorites]

Best answer: Bowl-steamed pork belly
posted by neroli at 1:54 PM on March 16, 2013 [1 favorite]

the two smaller pieces will cook up fine with that recipe.

Personally I might only cook one that way and do something different with the other. Probably cure it.
posted by JPD at 3:22 PM on March 16, 2013

Best answer: Bit late, but can you get your hands on any transglutaminase?
posted by porpoise at 3:57 PM on March 16, 2013

You could make bacon with them! It requires some pink salt if you want it to turn that rosy pink when cooked, but otherwise is dead simple.
posted by beepbeepboopboop at 3:59 PM on March 16, 2013

Best answer: If you have a way to do sous vide, Porchetta.
posted by Lord_Pall at 5:26 PM on March 16, 2013

Best answer: Red-Cooked Pork Belly. You can red-cook anything, but pork belly is pretty good. I use a recipe pretty much like this one, although I also add smashed scallions and a piece of dried tangerine or orange peel to the pot, and I omit the bok choy (although pouring the sauce ver vegetables would be good). I also tend to take out the meat, strain the liquid, refrigerate both, and then reheat the next day after peeling the huge puck of fat off the sauce. IT makes the whole thing less thick and rich, but it also keeps away the feeling that you are sweating bacon fat through the pores of your nose. So good!
posted by GenjiandProust at 5:48 PM on March 16, 2013

Response by poster: OK, I ended up going with the usual. We'll see how it does when I cook it tomorrow! Thanks for all the great suggestions, though, I'm looking forward to trying them all.

And yes, porpoise, I thought real hard about running into the city for transglutaminase when I realized it was in 2 pieces.
posted by rhiannonstone at 10:14 PM on March 16, 2013

Best answer: My friends Tiawanese mother does this and always has some sitting in the fridge:

1/3 pork belly
1/3 soy sauce: it's this particular kind that has a yellow label and has some fish sauce in it
1/3 coca-cola

Simmer for ever and it tastes amazing
posted by wcfields at 4:55 PM on March 17, 2013

Response by poster: Results: So there was a fair amount of shrinkage (as expected), and the thinner edges of each piece blackened on the top, but otherwise I still have two luscious pieces of pork belly, some of which will be sliced up and served with garlicky bok choy and rice tonight.
posted by rhiannonstone at 12:35 PM on March 18, 2013

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