Crispy Roasted Pork Belly

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If you haven’t had crispy grilled pork belly yet, gosh, get ready for the treat of a lifetime. If you like bacon, get ready to dump the pork belly. Bacon is made from pork belly, so when you get pork belly, you get the base of something that makes everything better. They started making it into bacon as a way to preserve it because they didn’t have good refrigeration or freezing capabilities. You know Bacon’s mom is the kind of mom that turns heads. If I haven’t convinced you that you need pork belly in your life, I don’t know what else to say. Obviously I sing the praises of the pork belly!

I probably scream out loud when I see my local Costco is selling big pork belly. I immediately texted my husband and walked across the store to the checkout, forgetting several items on my list along the way. The promise of some good pork belly consumes the mind this way. If your local Costco doesn’t have them, go to Customer Service and ask for some! You can also find it at high-end grocery stores like Whole Foods, but they tend to be more expensive. You can also ask your butcher if they can special order. My Costco sized pork belly weighed 8 lbs. I divided it into two-pound slabs and froze whatever I wasn’t going to use right away.

In this recipe, I season the pork belly skins with ancho chili powder and paprika for an added Mexican twist. Ancho chili powder has a mild, sweet flavor that I absolutely love and I know it goes well with pork belly. You can experiment with your own flavor combinations. The important elements to include are sugar (for caramelization) and salt (because, hello, cooking pork without salt is a sin!). In fact, you can just use salt and sugar and let the pork belly shine by itself. Basically, you can’t go wrong!

Crispy Roasted Pork Belly Cuts




Preparation time: 5 minutes + 1 to 4 hours
Baking time: 2 hours and 45 minutes
yield: Serves 6 to 8


raw material

1 (2 lb) plate pork belly
1 tablespoon sugar
1 tsp salt
1 teaspoon ancho paprika
1 tsp paprika
12 oz. Stew*

instruct

1. Place the pork belly fat side up on a cutting board. Score the fat with a knife across the plate in parallel motions, about 1 inch apart. Do the same in the opposite direction, creating a diamond pattern on the meat.

2. In a small bowl, combine sugar, salt, ancho chili powder, and paprika. Rub the mixture over the fatty part of the pork belly, also coating the mark. Cover and refrigerate 1 to 4 hours.

3. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Place the pork belly on a rack in a baking dish. Bake in center of oven for 90 minutes.

4. Pour the stew* into the bottom of the baking dish. Continue to bake for 60 minutes.

5. Increase the heat to 500 degrees and bake for about 15 minutes, until the skin is crisp and browned. Watch carefully as the actual time may vary depending on your oven.

6. Rest for at least 20 minutes before slicing or shredding.

*Braising Liquid = I used rootbeer, but you can really use beer or any other soda.

Aerial view of a pile of crispy grilled pork belly.