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.
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.
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
Braised Pork Belly(serves 4)
Adapted from AdHoc at Home
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.