I’m currently curing my own bacon and cannot wait to put it into the smoker. When I purchased my pork belly I got a big piece. I don’t even know if you could call it a piece. More like half a piggy. Thirteen pounds worth. Instead of turning it all into bacon, I cut off about three pounds to make a pork belly dish. I first had pork belly almost four years ago on a little crostini during happy hour. At the time I didn’t even like pork, but the waitress raved about the appetizer so I thought why not. Let me tell you. She was absolutely right. Pork belly melts in your mouth! It is unlike any other pork cut. It is tender, moist and pure delicious.
I scoured the internet for a good recipe and finally settled on Mel’s from The Clothes Make the Girl. She is awesome by the way! Her cookbooks are basically completely Whole30 approved, which I am currently devouring. I adapted her recipe a tad because I had a larger piece.
3 lbs pork belly, cut into two-inch wide pieces
3/4 tsp ground turmeric
3/4 tsp cumin
3/4 tsp fennel seed
3/4 tsp coriander
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tbls lemon juice
1/2 tbls sea salt
With a mortar and pestle, grind turmeric, cumin, fennel seed and coriander until a fine powder. If pork is moist, pat dry with paper towels. Using a sharp knife, score the fat side of the pork in diagonals fairly close together. Flip and poke tiny holes in the meat side. Rub the garlic over the meat then spice mix. Wrap tightly with plastic wrap for 2 hours and place in the fridge.
When you are ready to cook, remove meat from fridge for about 30 minutes to warm. Rub lemon juice on the fat side then sprinkle with salt. Turn oven to 425 degrees. Place pork belly fat side up on a parchment lined baking sheet. Pop in the oven for 30 minutes then reduce the heat to 350 degrees and cook for another hour until skin is crispy. Remove from oven and let rest for 10 minutes. Serves 4-6.
Recipe adapted from Mel’s here.