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Pork belly confit


TheSwede
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Hi all! I'm new here. I'm an amateur cook from Stockholm, Sweden, sometimes with ideas far loftier than my skills. :biggrin:

My current project: I'm doing pork belly confit. I have some slabs of pork belly brining in the fridge right now in a standard sugar/salt brine. Tomorrow I'm planning on slowly confiting them in duck fat. I don't want a rilette type end result, rather I'm after whole confited pieces.

After maturing in duck fat in the fridge for a week or two, the confit could be carved, heated and served with...puy lentils perhaps. I could have gotten pork fat instead of duck fat (cheaper!) but it was just too easy to grab a big can of duck fat when I visited my lokal market yesterday.

I've never done this type of confit before (but I have done rilettes). Anything I should think of? Temperature? Cooking time? For duck confit I've seen 190F/90C oven for up to 10-12 hours and I'm assuming the same will apply for my pork.

(I also have a big chunk of tough cow marinating in red wine and and the usual aromatics in the fridge. I'm planning on braising it in it's own juices in an aluminium foil packet.)

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Don't know that you are doing anything wrong, but I do question the necessity/desirability of confiting a pork belly.

If you have brined it (again a bit of an overkill for pork belly) then just slow roasting should do the trick. Do the usual with the skin to set up for your cackling then just let it roast very slowly for a few hours.

I've never tried it with a pork belly, but my fear would be that after the time in the fat the belly might be falling apart.

Now then comfit of pork shoulder is a whole different ball game. See Paula Wolfert's recipe in South Western French cooking.

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Swede, your temperatures and procedures are fine. After about 7 hours of cooking, begin to check the belly for doneness. It would be easier for you to cut the belly into portions and confit them. When reheating, let the pork come up to room temperature in the fat and place crackling side down in a pan an cook until it is deep golden, flip and cook in a 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes.

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begpie, I have have on occasions burned off the alcohol in a red wine marinade as per the French Laundry cookbook but today I was more in the mode of "if it is good enough for french bistro cooking it is good enough for me" and just poured the wine on the meat/veggies.

The inspiration for the confited pork belly was a resturant dish I had a week ago (resturant "Landet" in Stockholm) which consisted of some cut of tender beef together with pork belly confit, foie gras terrine and a tradional red wine/stock reduction. Their pork belly was a little bit too salty but had very nice texture and taste. It was not done with a crunchy skin, rather the confit had almost custard like texture. I liked the idea of serving confited pork in a nice cut rather than a rilette "mush". I love rilettes, but presentation wise the cut is a winner on the plate.

I will report back tomorrow evening on the end result. Death or glory! :smile:

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Jeff is on the right track... there is also a huge thread from a large group on people who like to cure, smoke, and confit a large variety of items:

Cooking (or curing) from "Charcuterie", sausages, terrines, cured meats

Sounds interesting though!

Oh, I have "Charcuterie" on order! Should arrive any day now. Cured meat is gods gift to mankind. :smile:

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I've done this before--with excellent results. I didn't brine it, I cured it for a day before. I submerged it in pork fat, then cooked for about 4 hours. I then pressed it to compact it's shape. It was wonderful--the fat was melt in your mouth. I could think of a thousand things to do with this--you are definitely on the right track. I wouldn't cook for 10-12 hours, but low n slow is the way to go.

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The pork belly (as well as two duck legs) is confiting right now.

I checked a couple of sources for temperatures and times and they vary videly. The 190F/10 hours was from the Bouchon receipe for duck confit. Fergus Henderson in The Whole Beast says 325F for 2.5 hours for pork belly and about the same for duck legs.

Of course higher temperature will mean shorter cooking time, but I wonder about he effect of confiting below or above the boiling point of water. I'm currently doing the low temperature version.

Edit, after action report: I stopped the confiting after six hours when I thought the pork was tender enough. Very soft and succulent. Not much salt in the taste (easily added at eating time though) so I will probably go for a salt rub instead of brine next time. The result is now resting in duck fat in the fridge. It will be interesting to see how the taste develops over the next few weeks.

Edited by TheSwede (log)
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I think that low temp is the way to go, but I think that 10-12 hours for a pork belly is too long. Like you said, I would cure it instead of brining next time.

Congrats on the success though--you will enjoy that I guarantee.

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  • 4 weeks later...
. . . but I wonder about he effect of confiting below or above the boiling point of water. I'm currently doing the low temperature version.

Its my belief that a confit, or any kind of "lipid poach" for that matter, is best done below 100C otherwise water from the surface of the meat will simply boil off leaving the food too dry. AFAIC, the only difference between butter-poached and butter-fried is temperature, above and below 100 C, respectively.

Peter Gamble aka "Peter the eater"

I just made a cornish game hen with chestnut stuffing. . .

Would you believe a pigeon stuffed with spam? . . .

Would you believe a rat filled with cough drops?

Moe Sizlack

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