The Accidental Wino Pork Belly Project: Day Three


Pork Belly over White Rice.

So far, this pork belly project has been all cooking and no eating, but that will all change today. Although this recipe does require a couple days to prepare, once it has been braised, it actually becomes the foundation for some pretty quick meals. In the photo above, I have braised pork belly over white rice, which is a classic preparation. For the glaze, I reduced the braising liquid by about 90%, then added honey and apple cider vinegar.

For this particular dish, I like to cut nice cube-shaped pieces of pork belly. Typically, the cut of belly itself is somewhat square already, so I just even up one edge and then cut a nice, generous one-inch slice with my second cut. Subsequently, this slice becomes one-inch cubes (I usually get about six or seven pieces). Of course, the scraps should be saved, because these uneven odds and ends do well in Chinese steamed buns (see, Day Five).

Once the pieces are cut, sear them like you would bacon. Remember, this dish would have been bacon, if bacon was the intention. Simply start with a cold pan and sear the pieces over medium heat. I only sear the cut sides, and I let the “cured” sides (formerly the “fat” side and the “meat” side) alone. Make sure that all four of the cut sides develop a nice, hard pan sear. To finish, drain the rendered fat — which should be plentiful — and add about 1/4 cup of glaze to the pan. Allow the glaze to thicken, while coating the pork belly on all sides. Plate over white rice. Eat.

Honey-Soy Pork Belly Glaze Recipe (yields about 1 cup)

• Braising liquid from Day Two, 2 quarts (this is how much I had left, after straining)

• Honey, 1/4 cup

• Apple cider vinegar, 2T

Belly Glaze Method

1. Reduce the braising liquid to 1 cup (essentially, this reduces the liquid back to one cup of super-flavorful soy sauce, once the two quarts of water have boiled off).

2. Remove the reduction from the heat and add the honey and apple cider vinegar. Allow to cool (for six one-inch cubes of pork belly, 1/4 cup of this glaze will quickly reduce into a thin, yet thorough, coating).

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