Recipe: Mike’s Famous Pork Belly

If one of your New Year’s resolutions is to consume more animal fat, then you’ve come to the right place.  Here is the no-longer-secret recipe for Mike’s Famous Pork Belly, star of the potluck table and scourge of your 2015 weight-loss plans.

Pork bellies look like bacon, and in fact it’s the same fatty, boneless cut of meat. The only difference is that bacon is cured or smoked. If pork belly is not available in your area you can buy it online.

Pork Belly: Eerily similar to bacon.

Pork Belly: Eerily similar to bacon. Click to enlarge.

Cooking pork belly is tricky. You want to get it crisp, but not too hard and tough. The secret ingredients? Water, and very particular application of heat.

1) Cut it into thick slices, then sliced through the skin 0.5-1 cm deep, 1-2 cm apart (or 1/4 inch deep, 1/4 – 1/2 inch apart).

Raw pork belly. Click for a bigger picture.

Raw pork belly. Click to enlarge.

2) Season with Montreal steak seasoning (or your salty seasoning of choice).

3) Place on a rack in a roasting pan skin side up, covering some of the larger spaces with foil so the meat doesn’t fall through.

Pork belly arranged in the roasting pan. Click to enlarge.

Pork belly arranged in the roasting pan. Click to enlarge.

Arrange the strips skin-up across the supports of the rack. Click to enlarge.

Arrange the strips skin-up across the supports of the rack. Click to enlarge.

4) Add water to cover the bottom of the pan–about 0.5 cm or 1/4 inch.
5) Bake at 149 C/ 300 F for 4 hours
6) Turn up the heat to 232 C/ 450 F and bake for another 0.5 hours

The finished product. Click to enlarge.

Pork in a Pan

7) Turn on broiler and watch until the pork belly reaches the desired crispness–do not walk away because it can burn very quickly.

8) Slice it into bite-size chunks. You may not even have time to transport it from the cutting board to the serving dish because your guests will swipe pieces of it. Like bacon, it can be considered a finger food.

Crisp, succulent, and very, very fatty. Click to enlarge.

Crisp, succulent, and very, very fatty. Click to enlarge.

You will have a lot of rendered fat in the pan. Pour it out and save it, and use it to fry things. Like your Spam and egg breakfast the next morning.


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One thought on “Recipe: Mike’s Famous Pork Belly

  1. Having been lucky enough to consume more than my fair share of this delicacy chez Mike several weeks ago, I can attest to its addictiveness!

    Liked by 1 person

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