Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cured Pork Belly Roasted with Apple, Onion and Brown Sugar


PORK BELLY WINS AGAIN.

i go to the Asian market every few weeks just to pick up some fresh tofu and some chili oil...maybe a few sweets for Dad from the bakery next door...

how does that darn pork belly jump into my shopping cart every single time ? !


mmmmm...the pork belly is succulent, the bacon is crispy, the onion and gala apple are caramelized in brown sugar and pork fatty goodness...
HOW DOES ONE RESIST ?
even the nay-sayers will bow to the pork belly...
it's very hard to ruin and it is so versatile.  so many ways to cook and so many ways to present.
you can't go wrong...


THE HEART ATTACK NAPOLEON ?
pork belly stacked with brown sugar-butter sauteed apple topped with caramelized onion.  i hear the sirens approaching.  
defibrillator...CLEAR !

the 1st one was a bit small and only had skin on half...so i covered it with bacon and it was crunchy, smoky, baconie, fatty and delicious

2nd time...bigger slab with more skin/fat, no need for bacon wrap.  i used more apples and brown sugar...yumm.  these apples remained in large enough pieces to serve with the belly.



CURED PORK BELLY ROASTED WITH APPLES ONION AND BROWN SUGAR

CURING THE BELLY
i suppose this could be done in a ziploc freezer bag, but i like to use a tupperware or glass/ceramic loaf pan so that the skin is not soaking in the cure...what ever will fit the piece of pork belly you have bought.

1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1-2 tsp fresh ground pepper

buy yourself a 2-3 lb. slab of belly with skin...no bones
i like to wash and dry it completely with paper towels before doing the cure.
completely cover the belly with the mixture.  place skin/fat side up in non-reactive container just big enough to fit. cover and let sit in fridge for at least 24 hours. this is the all important curing process. after about 12 hrs you can pour some of the liquid out of the container. i did. 

after 24 hrs remove and wash remaining salt/sugar mixture off under cool water. dry completely. take a sharp sharp knife and cut slits through the skin but not to the flesh. i cut about every 1/2  inch or so.
if skin is removed just put some shallow slashes into the fat.

COOKING THE PORK BELLY

1 large white onion
2 gala or honey crisp apples...something sweet and crisp
brown sugar
bacon, if the belly has no skin
cut 1 large white onion into thick slices and layer the bottom of a roasting pan lined with heavy tin foil.  put pork belly on the onions...this is sort of a trivet to keep the pork off the bottom of the roasting pan.  if you want to use the bacon method then remove the skin, not the fat, from the pork belly...(some are only sold without the skin) and cover the top with the bacon strips as shown in photo.  place apple slices nice and snug around as shown in photos.  this  prevents the sides from getting too brown AND lets the apples cook in pork fatty goodness.  sprinkle brown sugar all around the sides on and around apples.

there are 2 ways to cook the belly...low and slow for the whole time...or Jamie Oliver's method.  i suggest if you are using the bacon on top you do the low and slow method so the bacon won't burn.
NOTE...i did not get a crisp crunchy skin with either method.  i was not concerned because i knew i would be refrigerating this and consuming the next day.  the skin should crisp in the pan or broiler later.  if it doesn't want to crisp up, just discard the skin and sear the fatty side before serving.

Jamie Oliver method ....put oven to "full whack" 450 F for the first thirty minutes and then down to 350 F for the next 2 hours...or until really fork tender.  this is a fabulous recipe that you might want to start with if you are unfamiliar with pork belly....straight up crispy skin roasted pork belly...delicious!

Low and slow...put in 225 F degree oven for 5-6 hours or until meat is very fork tender.  this depends on the size of your belly (the PORK belly, silly).  remove from oven and let cool as is. when cool enough, put it in the fridge for at least a few hours. this makes for easy slicing and preparing and way you see fit... and you can keep it there for the week as you whittle away at the slab.  slice against the grain and sear in a hot pan...or put a large slice in the oven to warm and then turn your broiler on to crisp the skin.

do with it what you will...
you can't go wrong with a delicious slab of apple brown sugar pork belly.

8 comments:

Karen Harris said...

I love pork belly so know that this is heavenly. Right now I have a pound of pork belly that is sliced at about 1/2" thick in the freezer. I'm not sure what I'll do with it but I will love experimenting. I will definitely be trying your recipe soon.

Trevor Sis Boom said...

Just the other day a friend of mine asked me 'what is pork belly". I may just have to make this to show him. yum.

Marian said...

Hi Jules, this looks great! I wish I could have a piece of it :-).
Greetings from Belgium,
Marian

Jules and Ruby said...

pork lovers unite!...
hi karen, like i said...you can't go wrong with pork belly. i've never bought thick slices before, but i know you can do something delicious with it.
Trevor...you have to cook some pork belly. i want to see how you would cook it. i know it would be fabulous
Marian...hello Belgium!...i wish i could send you some

مطبخ رمضان said...

THANKS ALOT VERY MUCH REALY

Anonymous said...

Could you edit your curing process please. I see 3 dry ingredients and you talk about pouring off some liquid? thanks
Paul

Jules and Ruby said...

hi Paul...the liquid is created from the curing. the belly will start to seep moisture. if it extracts a lot of liquid you might want to pour some out so the belly is not sitting in it, but it won't hurt it if you leave it. just make sure you have the whole thing sitting is a vessel of some sort so you don't spring a leak all over your fridge...hope that helps. i'll go back and read it and probably put that in. thanks for the comment.

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