A rich, succulent cut of pork belly is like a nice little package of everything that makes life worth living. Nowhere else can you get such buttery, fatty goodness without having to do anything at all. Except, well, when you eff it up. Which is easier to do than I’d like to admit. Dry, leathery pork belly = No Bueno. Like, No Bueno enough to effing WRECK your week.
What can I say? I’m, like, really sensitive, OK??
I basically made it my civic responsibility to share a couple of fool-proof options for the cooking of my Porky Ambrosia. There’s a lot of theories about the best or worst method, but as in all things in my life, I’m sticking to what has worked consistently for me. And the best part is that I’m giving you OPTIONS…all you have to do is season your meat, pan sear it quickly, and braise using one of two methods:
2. Low and slow in the oven
…And yes, I’ve used both methods and I really can’t say which I prefer. Both are reliable. And delicious. Just depends on what you have available. I generally lean on my crockpot but the oven method was born after my poor little slow cooker was indisposed, and it did not disappoint–even though I was wondering all day if having the oven on for that long would burn my house down. Don’t worry, it didn’t.
2 lbs Pork Belly
2 t Sea Salt
2 t Black Pepper
2 t Chili Powder
2 T Olive Oil
1 T Fish Sauce or Coconut Aminos
1/4 c Apple Cider Vinegar
2-3 c Chopped Vegetables (Carrots, Brussels Sprouts, Sweet Potatoes, Turnips, Etc…)
Heat the olive oil over medium-high heat.
Score the skin of the pork belly in alternating diagonals. Mix the seasonings together and rub the spice mixture all over both sides of the pork belly.
Sear the meat on ALL sides in the oil for ONE MINUTE PER SIDE. Yes, you even need to cook the thin sides–this is where tongs will come in handy.
Place the veggies in the bottom of a crock pot or lined baking dish. Place the pork belly on top. Pour the vinegar over the meat, then the fish sauce or coconut aminos.
If you’re using a crockpot, cook on HIGH for 4-5 hours.
If you’re using an oven, cover the baking dish with foil and bake at 170 degrees for 4-5 hours.