Sunday, September 25, 2011
Leek, Apple and Fennel Scented Pork Belly with Crispy Skin
Pork belly. Really? So many cuts of pork don't sound that great, but taste so good. This just might be one of those cuts. It takes a while to cook, and a bit more time to prepare than some other cuts of meat, but overall it is pretty easy. Just know that this is not a calorie light meal. I mean, really, this is the same cut of meat we use to make bacon... so you do the math. Still worth it once or twice a year though, I say.
I took a classic technique for pork belly and added my own autumn inspired twist.
1 large bulb of fennel
1/8 cup apple cider vinegar
First, roughly cut your vegetables into large chunks. And arrange them in a baking pan large enough to hold your piece of pork belly.
Use a sharp knife to score the skin of the pork belly every half inch, cutting through the skin, but not all of the way through the meat.
Then, spreading the slices apart with your fingers, sprinkle salt into each cut.
Lightly salt the underside as well, and place, skin side up, over the vegetables. Drizzle the apple cider vinegar over the top of the pork belly. If you are using a metal or glass pan, I would recommend adding 1/4 cup water to the bottom of the pan as well.
Place in a HOT oven. Bake at 450 for 30 minutes, reduce the heat to 350 and continue baking for one hour. If you hear popping and little explosions, that is a good thing! The skin needs to crackle.
Use the juice in the bottom of the pan to drizzle over the meat. Slice on the cuts you have already made and serve.