|Nutritional Guidelines (per serving)|
This braised pork belly recipe produces a succulent piece of meat if you marinate it in the dry rub overnight.
Eastern European cuisine often makes use of the entire animal – Not one ounce of the animals they slaughter is wasted. Heads, feet, tails, innards and more all find a place in the culinary repertoire.
Pork belly, once considered scrap meat and relegated to the soup or cabbage pot, is now treated like royalty in trendy restaurants around the world. It's a fatty piece of meat, but when handled properly, it is delicious.
This recipe for braised pork belly is from chef Donald Link of Cochon Restaurant in New Orleans. He and his partner, chef Stephen Stryjewski know their pork. In fact, the name of their restaurant is from the French and means "pig" in English, and that's what they specialize in.
- For the Dry Rub Marinade:
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 tablespoon fennel seed (ground)
- 1 tablespoon allspice (ground)
- 1 tablespoon black pepper (ground)
- For the Pork:
- 1 1/2 pounds pork belly (in one rectangular piece, at least 60 percent lean)
- For the Braising Liquid:
- 1 medium yellow onion (chopped)
- 1 large carrot ( peeled and chopped)
- 3 ribs celery (chopped)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3 cloves garlic
- 3 tomatoes (whole)
- 2 cups dry white wine
- 2-inch cinnamon stick
- 1 star anise (whole)
- 2 juniper berries (whole)
- 1 cardamom pod
- 1 clove (whole)
- 1-quart chicken stock
Make the Dry Rub Marinade
In a small bowl, combine salt, fennel seed, allspice, and black pepper until thoroughly mixed.
Rub onto all sides of the pork belly. Place the belly in a nonreactive pan and top the meat with any remaining dry rub marinade. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate overnight.
Make the Braising Liquid and Cook
In a large saucepan, sauté onion, carrot, and celery in olive oil until soft, about 5 minutes. Add garlic and tomatoes and cook another 5 minutes. Add wine and cook until evaporated. Add cinnamon stick, star anise, juniper berries, cardamom, clove, and chicken stock. Bring to a boil.
Heat oven to 325 F. Remove the belly from refrigerator and place in a roasting pan that has a cover.
Pour hot braising liquid over pork belly. Cover and place in oven. Cook 3 1/2 hours or until completely tender when pierced with a fork. The pork belly can be prepared up to this point and refrigerated in the braising liquid until ready to proceed to the next step.
Remove the belly from the braising liquid and cool. Heat oven to 400 F. Cut belly into 4 portions. Sauté in a hot skillet with a little oil for 2 minutes, fat side down. Finish warming in the oven for 5 minutes.