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eatingwitheddie

Pork Belly

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I personally don't think that brining either wet or dry adds much if anything to pork belly.

For me just a good long slow cook does the trick. I like to place my belly over halved onions so they pick up the flavor & end up nice & soft.

I also find that a slow cook with the skin on sets things up for making great crackling at the end.

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Dave, one thing that worked really well for me was cooking the skin separately at about 90C for about 7 hrs and then cutting it into strips to cool. A last blast at about 220c for about 10-15 mins ended up with amazing crackling.

Perhaps it is possible to achieve similar results much quicker as well, but where's the fun with that :-)

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You could dry salt it overnight instead of the full week. If one adds about 0.25% cure #1 (sodium nitrite&salt) to the salt mixture the belly will develop a nice pinkish color regardless of whether it is a dry cure or a brine cure. I think this brings a lot to the party and a quick and light cure really livens the belly up.

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...and what made me ask the question to start with was this article that goes into the pros and cons of wet vs dry brining Turkey.

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I've actually done both wet and dry brine side by side (for pork belly buns). Which one is better really depends on your taste. The wet brine produced a more moist, tender pork belly. The dry was more intense in flavor but was a little dry. So, it was kind of like texture versus flavor.

If I make roast pork belly, Chinese/Filipino style, I don't brine at all.


Edited by annachan (log)

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that's very useful, annachan - and along the lines of the article that I linked upthread.

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Hello,

I have one question: Normally i do my porkbelly sous vide Skin on and either fry or crisp the piece of meat afterwards in a Pan.

For a catering i decided to the same, HOWEVER, my butcher put the Skin off the pieces!

I am asking myself if i will get any crispness of the pieces without the skin?

Thanks in advance!

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I have reapplied turkey skin to a breast and trussed it prior to sous vide and it stuck fine after frying when the trussing was removed.

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I am Not sure this works since its a totally different Type of skin.

Do you think there is a Way to prepare the skin on its own?

Really annoying since i dont have the time for Experiments.

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Cook the skin with moist heat until soft (1 - 2 hours), dry carefully, then either deep fry or cook in a skillet with a weight on top and serve as a pork skin "cracker" alongside the meat. It actually works out better this way and gives you a great garnish for plating.


PS: I am a guy.

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I'd be inclined to go with David Chang's recipe for pork buns. The recipe is readily available online, assuming you don't have his book. He roasts a little hot for my taste, though. I'd roast a little lower and slower.

Of course, you could half-roast/half-braise (i.e. low temperature, a few hours immersed alligator-in-the-swamp-style with some stock) the meat and cook the skin separately. See this post from earlier today for my go-to method--thanks Heston--for treating the skin.


Edited by ChrisTaylor (log)
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Chris Taylor

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I've never met an animal I didn't enjoy with salt and pepper.

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Vietnamese caramel pork belly for me. Fantastic combination of sweet, bitter, fragrant and rich porky goodness. I posted a sous vide recipe but there are plenty on the internet.

Simon

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In addition to the already-mentioned ideas -

Babi Pongteh

Babi Chin

Rice congee (sautée the sliced pork belly w/ ginger then proceed)

Or a braise of some sort with the aromatics of your choice plus carrots and potatoes and onions - an "Irish Stew" of sorts, if you will, but with pork belly instead.

Pity what you got appears to have no skin - Chinese/Cantonese roast pork w/ crackling would have been nice in that case...or Kow Yuk...

But OTOH, without the skin, one can slice it thinly and use it in any number of stir-fries with the veggies of one's choice. Try celery. Or sliced ginger and scallions. Or steam it with garlic & (Chinese) fermented black beans. So many permutations.

Or, just ignore the lack of skin and roast it in one piece (after rubbing with whatever strikes your fancy) (I myself might choose five-spice powder + salt + pepper, or even just salt & pepper)

ETA: Image sets for

Kow YuK; Kow Yuk with taro yam slices; and Kow Yuk with Fukien-type preserved mustard greens (梅菜).

:-)


Edited by huiray (log)
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I'd be going fritada, all the way.

Laylita has an interesting take on it; I'd prefer more to cook it very slowly in a deep-sided saucepan until the fat starts to render out, then add cumin, star anise, ginger, nutmeg, orange, panela, and sliced shallots and allow the meat to crisp up in its own fat. The difference between the two methods is the difference between Ecuador's coast and sierra.

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Elizabeth Campbell, baking 10,000 feet up at 1° South latitude.

My eG Food Blog (2011)My eG Foodblog (2012)

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Roast half. Make rillettes with the other half, and with the other half, rillons.

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QUIET!  People are trying to pontificate.

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My favorite method is pork belly confit. It's based on a recipe from Thomas Keller. Takes time to season, cure, cook then preserve the pork belly, but it's worth it. You can follow my steps here:

http://forums.egullet.org/topic/146319-eg-cook-off-64-confit/page-2

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"---Pity what you got appears to have no skin---"

I think I see skin tucked under.

I am not sure I agree with many. Perfect pork belly is not easy. There is the meat, fat and skin. Each requires drastically way of cooking. So if you fail to end up with a "restaurant ready" dish, don't blame yourself, just try again. Sometimes you succeed in achieving the most incredible dish, then you can fail the next time using the identical method.

It all depends on your preference, what kind of texture you would like to end up with, do you like crispy skin? Do you eat fat? How chewy you want the meat to be?

Of course, you can always make bacon.

dcarch

I got lucky this time:

crispyporkbelly.jpg

crispyporkbelly2.jpg

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Vietnamese caramel pork belly for me. Fantastic combination of sweet, bitter, fragrant and rich porky goodness. I posted a sous vide recipe but there are plenty on the internet.

Simon

Hi Simon,

I would love to see your Vietnamese pork belly recipe! Could you write the recipe or send me a link? Thanks!

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"---Pity what you got appears to have no skin---"

I think I see skin tucked under.

I am not sure I agree with many. Perfect pork belly is not easy. There is the meat, fat and skin. Each requires drastically way of cooking. So if you fail to end up with a "restaurant ready" dish, don't blame yourself, just try again. Sometimes you succeed in achieving the most incredible dish, then you can fail the next time using the identical method.

It all depends on your preference, what kind of texture you would like to end up with, do you like crispy skin? Do you eat fat? How chewy you want the meat to be?

Of course, you can always make bacon.

dcarch

I got lucky this time:

crispyporkbelly.jpg

crispyporkbelly2.jpg

My husband actually bought it because he was going to make bacon out of it. I stepped in and told him absolutely not, I want to have proper pork belly made the way I always see it on eGullet :)

I've never eaten or cooked it before--I mean I've had pork before, of course, but not pork belly.

When I see pictures my mind thinks that it must melt in your mouth…not in a greasy way, but an unctuous way with the top being crispy.

Thanks for all of the wonderful ideas!!!! I am going to have a hard time choosing.


Edited by Shelby (log)
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