Braised Pork Belly Recipe

by katerina on April 14, 2010

This method of braising pork belly produces tender, moist meat with lovely deep flavour. Unlike the simple roasted pork belly this braised pork belly recipe takes time and organization, but I think it is worth it.

Pork Belly Recipe

The pork belly is first brined for 10 hours, then seared fat side down to render out the fat. To finish cooking the pork is braised in a low oven for a few hours and then cooled in it’s own fat and liquid before being sliced and ready to consume.

The next time I make this braised pork belly recipe I intend to skip the brining step. In Ad Hoc at Home, from where this method is taken, Kelllar suggests brining virtually all meats before cooking them. I am not sold on this yet, so I will let you know how it goes when I try without brining.

Pork Belly Lettuce Wraps with Fennel Slaw

Pork Belly Lettuce Wraps with Fennel Slaw

Wondering what to do with the braised pork belly? Try my recipes for Tortellini with Asparagus, Pork Belly and Cherry Tomatoes or Pork Belly Lettuce Wraps with an Apple and Fennel Slaw

Print Recipe

Braised Pork Belly

(serves 4)
Adapted from AdHoc at Home

Pork Brine:
2 tablespoons honey
4 peppercorns
4 bay leaves
2 sprigs rosemary
a few sprigs parsley
a few sprigs thyme
2 cups water
1/4 cup kosher salt
Braised Pork Belly:
1 lb pork belly, skin removed
beef stock
parchment paper

First, make the brine. Bring all brine ingredients to a boil in a covered saucepan. Boil for 1 minute, stirring to dissolve honey then remove from heat and allow to cool.

Cover pork in brine for 10 hours and refrigerate. You don't want to leave it longer then 10 hours.

Preheat oven to 325F. Remove from brine and pat dry. Place fat side down in a oven-safe skillet just big enough to fit. Bring temperature to medium low and render the fat from the pork. Skim away fat and drain from pan. Cook for about 10-15 minutes or until nicely browned. Remove pork and drain away all remaining fat. Return pork to skillet fat side down and add beef stock halfway up pork. Make a parchment lid and cover pork. Bake for 2 1/2 hours.

Remove parchment lid and flip pork. Spoon liquid over pork and bake for another 10 minutes. Remove and allow pork to cool to room temperature.

This will keep in the fridge for 3 days. Store it in the braising liquid, and when you are ready to use it spoon off the fat. Oh, and don't discard that braising liquid, it's gold.


Prep Time: 10 minutes | Cooking Time: 180 minutes | Total Time:190 minutes
Calories(approximate per serving): 575



{ 12 comments… read them below or add one }

Karyn April 14, 2010 at 6:39 am

i could see this being a great sunday dinner meal. provided of course that i do all my work before sunday so i could enjoy the cooking process haha, although it doesn’t look like the actual cooking time is that much, just the prep. meaning i’d need to actually plan ;)

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Belinda @zomppa April 14, 2010 at 7:11 am

Oh, I can’t wait til Friday. Pork belly is so underappreciated.

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katerina April 14, 2010 at 9:38 am

Karyn – yeah, the planning is totally the tough part. In fact I think it is the toughest part of cooking in general sometimes.

Belinda – good!

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Joanne April 14, 2010 at 1:21 pm

I brine some, but not all of my meats, depending on how I’m going to use them. If I’m going to smother them in some really robust sauce then I don’t think it’s worth it. I can’t wait to hear what the taste test goes like though!

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hungry dog April 15, 2010 at 6:19 pm

Amazing. This is the second post in a row I have read about this book which is fast feeding my need to buy it! This looks incredible.

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katerina April 16, 2010 at 9:38 am

Joanne _ I really ant to do some side by side comparisons. One day, when I have time!

Hungry Dog – I would take a look at the book, it is very technique heavy? But simple.. not sure how to describe it but I enjoy it.

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drfugawe November 8, 2011 at 3:53 pm

Thomas Keller’s cookbooks are actually advertisements for his restaurants – I’m convinced he writes them with so much detail and added complexity that the readers finally throw up their hands and say, ‘Oh hell, let’s just go to the restaurant and have this.’ Having said that, I still think he’s one of our best chefs, even if he is a detail freak – His books are best handled as challenges for ‘deconstruction’ and adaption – and for the ideas and tidbits he freely includes.

So did you do this one w/o brining? And did you do it like this too? Which was better?

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katerina November 10, 2011 at 4:18 pm

I have still only tried the brining version, it was great.

I don’t have any Keller restaurants near me so I will have to rely on his cookbooks for awhile yet!

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jackie February 12, 2013 at 11:55 pm

You said the braising liquid is gold. What kinds of things would you use it for? I have never braised anything before and have never eaten or cooked pork belly either, but it is on sale frequently at my local grocer’s…and I am not going to try it! If the liquid is gold I would love to be able to use it and not waste it. thanks, i love your blog! I have learned a lot.

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katerina February 13, 2013 at 4:04 am

Why not try stir frying with it the next day? Or glazing and grilling some chicken :)

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gus February 22, 2013 at 8:04 am

the fact that you think you know more than Chef Keller is fun. He brines it for a reason, mainly if you dont like dry meat. Home chefs keep trying to cut corners yet still complain it just doesnt taste the same (as if they ever went to the French Laundry). His cookbooks are” complicated” because of mcdonalds and burger king for the american public.

i’ve actually made the time to follow a recipe for pork belly and if your palate lasts long enough past the fries and ketchup it truly is worth the time.

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katerina February 22, 2013 at 4:56 pm

I don’t think I know more. I claim to know my own preferences, what my family will enjoy and where my time is best spent. That doesn’t always include brining. I am a formally trained cook and understand all the benefits to brining, but the reason home cooks cut corners is to make these things approachable on a day to day basis, hence the reason I suggest that to my readers.

You are clearly not the target audience, but given that this is a recipe blog neither are people who spend all their time eating “fries and ketchup”, as my readers enjoy cooking.

Thanks for your hate, what a nice thing to send out into the world.

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