Friday, March 27, 2009

Friday Night Food Porn

Braised Pork Belly with Crispy Cracklings

Pure pork flavor. That sums up this dish. The underside of a pig is like a slab of fat with a little meat running through it. It's the place where bacon starts its wonderful journey on becoming bacon. But, in its raw, uncured state it's basically a layer of skin, then fat, meat, fat, meat and so on. The trick is to get the fat to render out and to be left with a rich bite of porky goodness. That's definitely a job for braising. I trimmed a whole belly into some good size square chunks. I seared the belly pieces in my Dutch oven with the skin still on. I removed the pork, then added some aromatics. After I sweated them down I added my braising liquid, added the bellies back into the pot and covered. I braised this in a low oven for about 3 hours. After that time I was able to separate the skin from the belly. While I let the pork rest I made some cracklings out of the skin. Deep fried, of course! After the bellies rested I scored the layer of fat that was under the skin, and placed them under the broiler.

This is a pig lovers cut of meat. It's rich, fatty, and bold. It has an intense pork flavor that will leave you wanting more and more. You'll never buy pork loin again...


Seto said...

Oh my god, that looks delicious. Thank you for the photo!

WhiteTrashBBQ said...

I hate you.