There are few pieces of meat that provoke as much excitement as a tender chunk of pork belly. A popular cut in Japanese cuisine, pork belly combines copious amounts of taste with just the right amount of pure fattiness. Pork belly has become an increasingly common menu item at restaurants serving various cuisines from around the world, but what about cooking with it at home? Turns out it’s super-simple.
Our friends at ChefSteps wrote in this week with an easy technique, perfect for pork-belly preparation. It’s a bone-sticking braise that can anchor all sorts of delicious dinners. The formula relies on easily findable ingredients, such as a cooking liquid (wine, stock or soy sauce), salt and pepper, and aromatic veggies. Mix it all together and you’ll soon have your favorite restaurant dish right in the comfort of your own home!
1 pound pork belly
4¼ cups cooking liquid, such as white wine, stock or soy sauce
Salt, as needed
Black pepper, as needed
Seasoning, optional, as needed
Aromatics, herbs and veggies, as needed
- Heat oven to 400°F.
- Slice belly into equally sized chunks (around 10 total).
- Transfer pork belly to Dutch oven or other heavy-duty, oven-safe pot with a lid.
- Pour wine or other cooking liquid into the pot until it reaches half the height of the belly. Sprinkle on some salt, pepper and whatever additional seasonings your heart desires, and add your aromatic vegetables and herbs.
- Cook, covered, at 400 degrees for one hour.
- Reduce oven heat to 200 degrees (or lowest temp possible).
- Continue cooking your belly, covered, for four to six hours, to achieve the soft, braise-y texture we’re in the market for. You can leave it in the oven overnight or all day for an even softer texture.
- Remove belly from oven and let rest at room temp until it’s firm enough to slice, about 20 minutes.
- Slice belly into bite-size chunks and have your way with it. Drop it into cassoulet or gumbo. Serve with vegetables over rice or grits, or stuff into a taco with tomatillos. The options are endless!
ChefSteps comprises a team of award-winning chefs, filmmakers, scientists, designers and engineers focused on revolutionizing the way people cook by inspiring creativity and encouraging expertise in the kitchen. The site is currently offering free online classes called Cooking Sous Vide: Getting Started and Burgers, as well as a $10 class called Cooking Sous Vide: Beyond the Basics and a $14 class called Coffee.