Pork belly is a very greasy cut of meat typically used to make bacon, but it is also possible to cook it in other ways. Slowly cook over a low heat in the oven or slow-cooker, or fry small slices of pork belly on the stove.
roasting meat in the oven
Makes 6 to 8 servings:
- 900 g of pork belly;
- 1/3 cup (80 ml) of olive oil;
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of sea salt;
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of ground black pepper.
Cooking in the slow-cooker
Makes 6 to 8 servings:
- 900 g of pork belly;
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of sea salt;
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of ground black pepper;
- 2 teaspoons (10 ml) of chili powder;
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of olive oil;
- 1/4 cup (60 ml) apple cider vinegar;
- 1 cup (250 ml) of carrots, chopped into 5 cm pieces;
- 1 cup (250 ml) of sweet potatoes, cut into 5 cm pieces.
frying the meat
Makes 3 to 5 servings:
- 450 g of pork belly;
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of honey;
- 2 tablespoons (30 ml) of soy sauce;
- 1 tablespoon (15 ml) of oyster sauce;
- 1 teaspoon (5 ml) of chopped garlic.
Method 1 of 3: Roasting the Meat in the Oven
Step 1. Preheat oven to 220 °C
Meanwhile, prepare a baking sheet by inserting an elevated cooking grid.
- In the absence of one, crush several pieces of aluminum foil and spread on the bottom of the baking sheet.
- You will need to keep the pork belly elevated during cooking to remove the fat more easily.
Step 2. Make shallow cuts in the meat
Using a sharp knife, cut the skin using a crisscross pattern. Slice the skin into vertical rows 5 cm apart, then create a series of perpendicular cuts that are also spaced 5 cm apart.
- Pierce the tough skin and the top layer of fat, but don't cut too deeply into the very flesh that lies between these layers.
- This type of neat cut allows a greater amount of fat to be removed during cooking.
Step 3. Pass the oil, salt and black pepper
Place the meat on the prepared grill skin side up and season generously with these ingredients.
- In addition to seasoning the meat, oil and salt facilitate the removal of fat, resulting in a crispier skin.
- Apply the spices by hand and insert the salt and pepper into the cracks in the skin.
- Note that salt and pepper should resist cooking without spoiling, but other spices and herbs can burn. If you decide to add others, do so within the last 30 minutes.
Step 4. Cook for 20 to 30 minutes
Place the seasoned pork belly in the preheated oven and bake for 20 to 30 minutes, or until the skin turns brown and starts to look crispy.
- This brief period of high temperature will not completely cook the pig. You also shouldn't cook meat at this temperature all the time. The intense heat is just to make the skin crunchy.
- Don't wait for the skin to turn dark brown or completely crispy as it will continue to cook at a lower temperature. Roasting for a long time at a high temperature will burn the skin before the rest of the meat has finished cooking.
Step 5. Decrease the temperature to 180 °C without removing the meat from the oven
Bake for another two hours or two and a half hours or until done.
- Take a look at the meat in the middle of the process. If the fat is too hot, it may start to create smoke and will need to be transferred to a clean baking sheet.
- The pork belly must reach a minimum internal temperature of 70°C before being removed from the oven.
Step 6. Let it sit for 10 to 15 minutes after removing the meat from the oven and before cutting
During this time, the juices must distribute themselves and settle inside the meat
Step 7. Serve while still hot
A roasted pork belly will have a crispy skin, but the meat inside will be soft and moist.
- Store what is left in a closed container in the refrigerator.
- When heating the leftovers, brown the pieces of meat in a skillet so that the skin remains crispy.
Method 2 of 3: Cooking in Slow Cooking Pot
Step 1. Season the pork belly overnight
Sprinkle salt, black pepper and pepper powder on all sides of the meat. Wrap in film and refrigerate overnight.
- Mix the seasonings in a small dish before passing them on the surface of the meat, as this ensures a more even distribution of each one.
- If you don't have a lot of time, it's not necessary to keep the pig in the fridge overnight. This helps tenderize the meat and improves the flavor, but it will also taste good if you season it and immediately proceed to the next step.
Step 2. Make shallow cuts
Using a sharp knife, cut diagonal lines into the pork belly skin. Cut a series of perpendicular diagonal lines over the first cuts, creating a crisscross pattern.
This type of cut allows the fat to be removed during cooking. Try to cut both the skin and the top layer of fat, but don't cut deeply into the meat between these two layers
Step 3. Heat the olive oil in the skillet over medium or high heat
Wait a minute for the oil to reach the proper temperature. Carefully turn the pan over so that the oil covers the entire bottom
Step 4. Brown all sides of the meat
Place the pork belly in the hot oil and brown each side for a minute or until light brown and crispy.
- It is also necessary to brown the thin sides of the pig. You may need to hold it in position with tongs.
- The pork belly won't be too crispy in the slow-cooker, so you should brown the skin on the stove before cooking the rest.
Step 5. Place the ingredients in the slow-cooker
Spread carrots and sweet potatoes along the bottom of the pan. Place the meat on top, then pour the apple cider vinegar over the entire contents.
If desired, use other tubers instead of sweet potatoes and carrots. Brussels sprouts, potatoes and turnips are also good options
Step 6. Cook on high temperature for four or five hours
Cover pan and set to high temperature. Cook until done – which can take four or five hours.
When ready, the pig should have a minimum internal temperature of 70 °C
Step 7. Serve hot
Turn off the pan and let it sit for 10 minutes before slicing. The pork belly should be very soft and juicy when you cut it.
Store what is left in a closed container in the refrigerator. You can heat leftovers in a skillet to make the skin crispy
Method 3 of 3: Frying the Meat
Step 1. Heat the skillet dry
Place a skillet over high or medium heat and heat without adding any oil.
As the pork belly already contains a lot of fat, it is not necessary to add more oil. You can do this to speed up the browning, but be aware that adding more oil can splash everywhere
Step 2. Cut the meat into slices
Using a sharp knife cut the pork belly into chunks (6 to 12 mm).
It is not necessary to brown the skin when frying the pork belly. Slicing meat into slices already exposes the fat, so you should eliminate enough despite the thick layer of skin
Step 3. Brown the meat
Place the pieces in the hot skillet and cook, turning frequently until all sides are golden and crispy.
- The exact time varies depending on the amount of pieces in the pan, but four to five minutes per side is usually sufficient.
- Use tongs to carefully turn and rotate the slices. If oil spills, use a screen to minimize the mess.
Step 4. Add seasonings
When the pork belly is browned, drain off excess fat and add honey, soy sauce, oyster sauce and garlic.
- If a few puddles of fat remain on the meat after you drain the pan, you need to tap the excess fat with a paper towel.
- Mix the spices in a separate bowl before adding them to the skillet so that they are all evenly distributed.
Step 5. Reduce the heat and continue cooking until the sauce thickens the meat well
- You will need to continue turning and turning the slices so that all sides are coated with the sauce.
- The exact time varies, but this part of the process can take two to three minutes.
Step 6. Serve hot
Remove skillet from heat and serve pork belly pieces with sauce.