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Monday, January 25, 2010

Pig Bellies

Today I am off and just lounging ... which inevitably leads to craving something!! So I am going to venture off to the Butcher and try and get some Pork Bellies. In these parts they are not common...and hard to come by...slab bacon just isn't the same. So hopefully I score!

Pork belly is the meat derived from the belly of a pig. In Canada, bacon is made most often from pork bellies.

This cut of meat is enormously popular in Chinese cuisine and Korean cuisine. In Chinese cuisine, it is generally marinated and cooked as a whole slab. Pork belly is used to make sweet and sour pork and dongporou. in China. Koreans cook Samgyeopsal on a grill with garlic and green peppers, often accompanied by soju. Uncured whole pork belly has more recently become a popular dish in Western cuisine, especially at high end restaurants.

A whole Pork Belly slab with "Skin On" weights about 11lbs. This recipe is for a whole slab...cut down the quantities if you are starting with anything smaller.


1 Tbsp Whole Green Cardamom
1 Tbsp Whole Star Anise (eight points intact)
1 Tbsp Cumin Seed
1 Tbsp Corriander Seed
1 Tbsp Fennel Seed
1 Tbsp Pink Peppercorns
1 Tbsp Black Peppercorns
2 Cinnamon Sticks (broken into inch long pc's)
8 Whole Raw Garlic Cloves
1 Inch Ginger Root(unpeeled and minced)
1 White Onion (chopped)
1 Litre Celery (chopped)
1 Litre Carrot (chopped)
2 Oranges (zested and quartred)
2 Litres Veal Stock (there is no substitute..more if needed to cover all ingredients)
1 Litre Shitake Mushrooms
1/2 Cup of Soy Sauce
2 Cups Apple Juice
1 Cup Quebec Maple Syrup


Slice Slab into 4 sections

Peel and Discard Skin...usually it is fairly thick

Toast all Dried Spices to bring out their Flavour

Carmelize all the Veg in a Pan to bring out their natural sugars.

Combine all ingredients and Marinade Overnight in the Fridge

Place into oven safe dish and cover tightly with Aluminum Foil

Place in oven @ 250F for six hours

Cool in its liquid overnight in the fridge ... remember to poke holes or pull back a corner of the foil so that it can vent.

I've frozen the liquid for re-use (more piggy goodness next time)

Portion the pieces to serving size

Pan Sear Fat Side down ... then throw into a 350F oven till warmed

Cover in your favorite flavour of Demi-Glace and enjoy!!!

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