A crispy pork belly recipe that works for both skin-on and skin-off pork belly! If you want cracklings, keep the skin on. For a more tender dish, remove and follow the same simple instructions.
1 Kg Pork Belly with the pork fat scored in a grid pattern about ½” across the top.
2 TBSP Duck Fat, Rendered Bacon Fat, Lard or Coconut Oil/Olive Oil
1 TSP Kosher Salt
1/2 TSP Fresh Cracked Pepper
1 TBSP Mixed Herbs and Rosemary (Garlic as well)
Preheat your oven to 120 degrees C. Line a rimmed baking sheet with foil and place a wire rack inside.
After you have scored the pork belly, season the meat side with about ½ of the salt and pepper. Heat a heavy bottom pan over high heat and add in the cooking fat. When the fat is hot, carefully add in the pork belly. Allow to brown without moving for 3-5 minutes depending on the heat of your stove.
Remove the belly from the fat with some tongs and place on the wire rack with the fat side up. Take the fat from the pan and pour over the fat. You will see the scoring separate with the hot fat being poured over it.
Evenly distribute the remaining salt and pepper. Place the pork belly in the oven for 3 hours.
After 3 hours, remove the belly from the oven. Carefully pour off some of the fat into a bowl. Pour the fat back on top of the pork belly. Evenly distribute the herbs de provence over the top of the pork belly and place back in the oven for 1 more hour.
After the 4th hour, turn on the broiler in the oven. Broil the pork belly until it crisps. For skin-on pork belly, keep a close eye on the skin as it will scorch very quickly- more quickly than the skinless pork belly.
Serve hot and enjoy!
Skin-On Pork Belly Notes:
Scoring the skin is not an easy task. It requires a sharp knife and a strong arm. Take your time and eventually, you will get the whole piece scored. The hardest parts are going to be where the really soft fat is under the skin. It helps to slightly roll the belly to tighten it up.
Skinless Pork Belly Notes:
Removing the skin can be a bit tricky. My suggestion is to ask your butcher to remove the skin rather than trying it at home… however, if you want to try here are some tips:
1. Start from the large end with the fat side up and peel about 2″ of skin off, being careful to keep your blade right under the skin. The fat pack is thickest here, so it will be more forgiving.
2. Get out a sharp knife that is wider than the pork belly. Flip the belly so the skin side is down, parallel with your body.
3. Grab a paper towel and hold onto the skin flap with your left hand. Using your right, place the knife between the skin and the fat and begin to push the blade, separating the skin from the fat. Take your time. Sometimes it helps to pull with the paper towel hand while you work the knife around with your other hand.
4. Once you have the skin off, you can either pitch it, keep it for stock or dice it up, toss it in some hot cooking fat for some yummy cracklings.
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