Pork Belly...What Shall Thy Become?

Nihon_Ni

真喜志友幸
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May 2, 2010
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I got tired of walking by the meat cooler and acting coy when the pork belly saw me because...well...although I fancy myself an amateur chef, and would watch Iron Chef or No Reservations if given my choice of TV programming...well...I just don't know what to do with it. But I finally did it -- there's a two pound slab of skinless pork belly sitting in my ice box. Now, I'm looking for suggestions on what to do with it. I'd ask my Japanese neighbors, but they'd probably suggest pork belly sashimi. I love sushi and regular sashimi, and have even sampled fresh (raw) horse and goat; but I draw the line at unroasted pig flesh. So I decided to turn to my CP brothers for inspiration.

So, chefs of CP, what say you?
 

Mr Peat

Rich Perelman, "Loren you have a Godlike Presence.
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Turn it into Pancetta if you have the time and patience. :thumbs:
 

Devil Doc

When Death smiles, Corpsmen smile back
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Making pancetta would certainly be a challenge, but I like side-pork just the way it is, sliced like bacon and served with eggs for breakfast. I wouldn't dismiss doing something traditional Japanese. If the hog was raised and fed properly, the chances of getting trichinosis are very small.

Doc.
 

Cigar2003

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Jan 21, 2011
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I am a simple person. SO I would cut it in half and throw it in a crockpot. What I do is lightly salt it, put it in the crockpot and fill the crockpot up with root beer. Put it on medium heat for 5-6 hours take it out and shred it. Then put your favorite bbq sauce on it. It is a hit for everyone I make it for. I even impressed an executive chef with it. That is just an option if you want to do something simple.
 

insight

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Find a recipe for Chinese bbq pork, Susur Lee has a good one. Apply the glaze/sauce, let it 'marinate' overnight at a minimum then braise it. Braising it will take a long time but will produce something amazing, and the cut works perfectly with the Chinese bbq flavoring. YBDMV
 

thinde

Lobstah; the other white meat!
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I am a simple person. SO I would cut it in half and throw it in a crockpot. What I do is lightly salt it, put it in the crockpot and fill the crockpot up with root beer. Put it on medium heat for 5-6 hours take it out and shred it. Then put your favorite bbq sauce on it. It is a hit for everyone I make it for. I even impressed an executive chef with it. That is just an option if you want to do something simple.
This sounds great but I would put it in my smoker for 6 hours first.
 

Nihon_Ni

真喜志友幸
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Thanks guys -- these are some great suggestions. I might have to go get a couple more pieces because I'm having a hard time deciding which of these I want to try first!

Brined and braised with a nice mostarda. Like this.
I'm really intrigued by this one...and it would be a perfect excuse to get an immersion circulator! :D

Find a recipe for Chinese bbq pork, Susur Lee has a good one. Apply the glaze/sauce, let it 'marinate' overnight at a minimum then braise it. Braising it will take a long time but will produce something amazing, and the cut works perfectly with the Chinese bbq flavoring. YBDMV
I see an all night cooking project in my near future...fortunately I have a 2005 La Gloria Cubana Series R Limitada in my humidor just waiting for such a project.
 

nhcigarfan

I like cigars
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Sep 7, 2005
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I bought side of a pig from a guy I know. A butcher took care of it but I brined my own ham. Got the stuff here: http://www.sausagemaker.com/ It may give you some ideas. I did the Honey Ham Brine and it came out great. The butcher smoked the bacon for me so I didn't do that but I would imagine 5 to 7 days in the brine. 3 hours in fresh water changed twice and then smoked would be nice.
 

MoeCizlak

Built for comfort
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Don't make Insight's suggestion. 1) He's not Chinese. 2) He's never seen a pig. 3) Susur Lee makes fun of him behind his back.
 

Nihon_Ni

真喜志友幸
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Well the cooking is done, the eating is finished and the verdict is in: My wife has a new love in her life! :love:



I took everyone's suggestions into consideration and by the end of the day on Sat I had decided what delectable thing my little pork buddy would become. I got started last night after work and whipped up a honey & herb brine, submerged the troublesome slab of goodness into the cooled brine, and tucked the whole thing back into the icebox to rest overnight. However, this morning my plans were foiled when I got to the commissary and found out the ingredients I needed were temporarily out of stock. So with the belly at home swimming quietly in the brine and me standing in the middle of a busy produce section, I was in a quandary -- until I spotted a pack of corn & chipotle tortillas and I changed my plan on the spot.



Braised pork belly and grilled portobello mushroom tacos, with red & green cabbage and braising fluid reduction, topped with Gorgonzola cheese; paired with a medley of roasted pearl onions and Japanese tubers: sweet potatoes (beni imo), pumpkin (kabocha), and lotus root (renkon).

Thanks for everyone's input.
 
Last edited:

duglynukem

Nuclear Advocate
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Nov 25, 2005
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Man that looks good. If it tastes anything like it looks, you have a winner!
 

Nihon_Ni

真喜志友幸
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May 2, 2010
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Thanks guys. I cut up the left-overs last night and made potato & leek soup with it.

Next time I walk by the pork counter I can do so with confidence... :D
 
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