If you’ve read enough of our posts and seen the places we’ve gone, you would know by now we have a special love affair with pork belly. If this delicious cut of meat is on the menu, you best believe that we are going to order it and cry with joy while we devour it.
I think I told Leili not too long ago that I plan to post a new pork belly recipe each year because it’s just one more reason for me to eat it. If you are unfamiliar with this cut of meat or may have just heard the words floating around in the food scene, then allow me to break it down.
Pork belly is the same cut of meat as bacon, but incredibly richer and more customizable. It has not been smoked or sliced – it is simply a block of fatty heaven. This cut of meat is also super easy to cook – all it takes is a lot of love and a little patience.
When I was on YouTube looking for inspiration, I found a video of a calm and relaxed Gordan Ramsay roasting pork belly in his very chic kitchen. Full disclosure: I watched the video mainly because Mr. Ramsay was being totally adorable and friendly, but of course the food also looked delicious.
In his video, he used a lot of aromatics so I attempted to apply the same techniques but with a different flavor profile. I played with ingredients I am more comfortable with – lemongrass, garlic, ginger, and such. The big flavors in this recipe will come from the five spice powder. Honestly, if you use the same techniques, you could experiment with other aromatics.
Here are a few notes to get you prepared: make sure you have a very sharp knife for the pork, do not be afraid of how much salt you apply to the pork, and lastly, make sure you are not wearing your fancy clothes while making this because things are going to get greasy.
Happy pork bellying!
Roasted Five Spice Pork Belly
Adapted from Gordan Ramsay
Serves about 4
1 pound pork belly, skin on
Five spice powder
Coarse sea salt
2 slices of onion
2 garlic cloves
Half of a lemongrass stalk
2 thumb size ginger
6-8 whole peppercorn
1 bay leaf
3 tablespoon white wine
1 1/2 cup stock (I used chicken)
Preheat oven to 350F.
Prep the pork belly by using a sharp knife to repeatedly score the skin diagonally across in one direction, about half inch apart. Turn it the other direction and do the same thing until you have diamond shaped lines scored into the skin. Try not to score too deep into the skin, but if you do, it’s still alright.
Rub the meat in ground pepper, five spice powder, and coarse sea salt. Make sure the five spice powder and salt are massaged into the crevices of the skin. Set it aside.
In an oven-friendly skillet or pan over medium high heat, sauté onions, garlic, lemongrass, and ginger for about 4-5 minutes, or until they start to brown. Move the aromatics to the side and carefully place the pork belly skin side down – turn up the heat to high. Sear the pork for about 3 minutes before flipping it over and searing the other side for another 3 minutes. At this point, throw in the bay leaf and whole peppercorn.
Carefully add white wine to deglaze the pan. Slowly add the chicken stock into the skillet, but don’t let the liquid touch the skin or it won’t get crispy. Bring it to a boil before placing the pan in the center of the oven for 1 hour.
When the pork comes out of the oven, the skin should be glistening and you should still be able to hear some crackling noises. Remove the pork belly from the pan and allow it to cool before slicing.
As for the liquid in the pan, it should be significantly reduced. Skim the fat off the top and save it – use it for something special later. For the remaining juices, bring the pan back up to a boil and reduce it for the ultimate jus.
Slice the pork belly into thick slices and serve with the jus. Another tip: if you’re heating up the pork later, slice and fry in a pan. It’s better than bacon, I swear.