As we settle into autumn, the way we cook and eat shifts along with the weather. As the abundance of beautiful summer produce wanes and the weather cools, we make more room on our plates for meats and reintroduce cuts that we all but forgot during the summer months.
Pork belly requires a long roasting time, making it a poor choice in the summer when turning on the oven and thus further heating your house is a veritable death sentence. But in the fall, standing by a warm oven becomes a homey and even enticing prospect — and why shouldn’t it when there’s slow-roasted pork belly waiting on the other end!
The pluot chimichurri recipe should be used as a guideline rather than a strict recipe — feel free to use whatever firm fruit is in season and looks best at your market. Pluots are a plum-apricot hybrid fruit that have become quite mainstream in the past several years and can be found in most markets.
Pork belly is rich and calls for a wine with enough acidity to cut through the fat. Prophecy Pinot Noir does just that: The Monterey County grapes impart a balanced acidity to cut through the richness of the dish, while the finish is velvety and smooth, leaving you craving the next bite of savory pork belly.
Brought to you by our friends at Prophecy Wines:
Crispy pork belly
- 3 pounds pork belly
- 2 large rosemary sprigs
- 4 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 4 tablespoons kosher salt
- 1 large pluot (or other firm seasonal fruit — plums, cherries, nectarines, peaches, etc.)
- 1 cup fresh cilantro
- 1 cup fresh parsley
- 1 clove garlic, finely minced
- 1/2 jalapeno, halved, deseeded and finely sliced
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 cup sherry vinegar
- 1/3 cup olive oil
For the pork belly
Score the pork belly by making parallel slits (through the fat layer only) 1 inch apart going one way, and then turn the belly and make 1-inch intersecting slits.
Remove the rosemary leaves from the sprig, then finely chop and add to a small bowl. Add the salt and sugar, and rub the rosemary into the mixture until it is fragrant. Rub the mixture into the pork belly, making sure to get it down into the scored slits, all over the sides and on the alternate side. Place pork belly in a roasting pan, fat side up, and place in the refrigerator. Allow to sit for 6-24 hours.
Preheat your oven to 300°F.
Drain any liquid out of the pork roasting dish and place in the oven. Cook for 2 hours.
After 2 hours, turn the oven up to 500°. Checking back frequently, cook until your pork belly is dark brown and crispy. Exact time will depend on your oven, but should be 7-15 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to sit for 15 minutes.
Slice into cubes and skewer. Alternatively, slice into 6 portions to serve as a main course. Serve with pluot chimichurri.
For the chimichurri
Finely dice pluot and add to a medium bowl. Finely chop the cilantro and parsley and add to the same bowl along with the garlic, jalapeño, salt and vinegar. While quickly stirring, slowly pour in the olive oil. Cover tightly and refrigerate until ready to use. Can be made 24 hours in advance.