Slow Roasted Pork Belly

My love of pork is no secret, and the first time I had uncured pork belly – the cut that is used to produce bacon – I thought I’d done died and gone to heaven.  It quickly became my very favorite part of the pig; I order it every time I find it on a menu (which, unfortunately, isn’t very often).  However, I had never cooked it, simply because I’ve never seen it for sale – I even asked our butcher for some, but all of the pork belly that comes through their abattoir is made into bacon.

So when we purchased our last pastured hog, I decided to sacrifice some of our bacon – two whole pounds of it, in fact – and asked for 2 one-pound pieces of uncured pork belly.  They looked at me like I’d lost my mind, but they did it.  And it was SO worth it; although both pieces sat in my freezer for some time (one is still there) waiting for a time when it would just be me and Beloved for dinner (there was no way I was going to waste this on a picky teenager), I do not for one minute regret passing up those two pounds of bacon.  This dish was just wonderful.

It is also ridiculously easy, although you need to make sure you have three hours to spare (it is, after all, slow roasted).  I’ve included directions for scoring the pork if you have a piece with the skin still attached, although mine did not, and if you don’t wish to use wine, you can substitute a good quality chicken stock and it will still be very, very good.  Oh, and the purple stuff it’s resting on in the second photo is pureed purple cauliflower; it tastes just like white cauliflower, but the color is so pretty, don’t you think?

Note:  The nutritional information lists this at 679 calories and 60 grams of fat per serving, which is rather disconcerting even if you are an advocate of healthy animal fats (that’s just a LOT of calories for a 4 ounce serving of something).  However, this is overstated – probably by quite a bit – because the recipe is calculating the calories and fat of the raw pork belly.  Much of the fat is rendered out, and poured off, of the final dish.

Pork Belly
Slow Roasted Pork Belly

Slow Roasted Pork Belly

serves 4

1 pound pork belly
2 teaspoons kosher or sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly-ground black pepper
1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, finely chopped
1 large onion, roughly chopped
2 large carrots, peeled and cut into large pieces
8 cloves garlic clove, peeled
1 cup dry white wine

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Place the onion, carrots and garlic in a shallow baking dish or roasting pan. Combine the salt, pepper, red pepper flakes and thyme in a small bowl.

Place the pork belly on a clean cutting board, skin side up if applicable; score the skin diagonally deep into the fat without penetrating the meat (scoring is unnecessary if the cut is skinless). Rub the spice mixture over the pork, and place it fat side up on the bed of vegetables in the dish.

Roast the pork belly for 30 minutes, then reduce the heat to 325 F. Roast for another 30 minutes; pour off any accumulated fat and add the wine; return to the oven for another 2 hours, basting every 20 minutes with the liquid in the pan.

Remove the pork belly to the cutting board and allow it to rest for 10 minutes before slicing, Serve with the roasted vegetables, if desired.

Nutrition (per serving): 679 calories, 60.4g total fat, 81.7mg cholesterol, 1007.3mg sodium, 461.4mg potassium, 11.5g carbohydrates, 2.3g fiber, 3.9g sugar, 11.9g protein.

Printable version (requires Adobe Reader)

Posted in participation of Kelly the Kitchen Kop’s Real Food Wednesday

23 thoughts on “Slow Roasted Pork Belly”

  1. *squeal* I’m so excited. We’ve gotten a few of these beauties from our farmers, but I’ve been uncertain how to proceed. Can’t wait to try this – hopefully this weekend. 🙂

    1. Oh, Monica – this was SO good. I can’t even begin to tell you how good. And if you need another recipe, soon I’m going to try another one that involved burying the pork belly in a cure and keeping it in the fridge for 3 days before roasting it. Ought to be interesting!

  2. JR doesn’t like pork so while I’m sure he would eat this if it was put in front of him and probably be surprised I wouldn’t even try it. That is all supposing that I would buy meat to start with.

    1. I know why you don’t eat meat, but this would convert ANYONE who doesn’t eat pork because they don’t like it. O.M.G., it is good.

    1. Har, har, dear – not exactly what I meant when I told you to talk about how good my pork belly is! 😛 (You know I love you anyway.)

  3. I have one in the freezer…may be trying this one this weekend. The picture with the purple cauliflower is so beautiful! (And it has the colors of the CS/DS badges!)

    1. By golly, Patty, you’re right – it IS all pretty purple and green, isn’t it? (My two favorite colors, by the by).

      And try the pork belly – you’ll love it.

  4. We’re hooked on pork side meat (uncured pork belly sliced and fried like bacon). We’ve even got our local co-op carrying it now, and obviously other people are buying it besides us from the quantity I see them stock in the meat case. The farmer that provides the pork for the co-op said he could get me a large pieces of pork belly if I wanted it, but I’ve found it readily available in the frozen meat case at one of our local asian markets, no pre-ordering necessary.

  5. I just got my first pork belly from Whole Foods last week and have been trying to figure out what to do with it- this looks like a winner! 🙂

  6. I’m a trucker and just “inherited” 40+ lbs of pork belly. am going home for time off and this is the 1st recipe i’m gonna try. my tummy started grumbling

  7. got home and made this recipe… family is probably THE hardest to please when it comes to food. THEY LOVED IT!!!! Thank you for having this site online!!!

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