If you are a pork lover like me, than pork belly is probably one of your favorite cuts. Pork Belly, as the name suggests comes from the belly of the pig and is the same portion that bacon comes from. Slab bacon, as it is sometimes referred to is sold in gourmet meat departments, farmers markets and butcher shops.
For the home cook, pork belly is simple to prepare and gains a lot praise from family and friends because it looks so complicated to make. For starters, choose about a quarter pound of belly per person because it will render down in the cooking process. You can enhance the flavors of your pork belly with any spice mix, but I prefer fennel and a touch of paprika. I hope you will give this a try, it is well worth it.
1/2 – 1 pound pork belly
2 tablespoons fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/2 onion, sliced
1 cup sliced mushrooms, any variety
1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. In a mortar and pestle or spice grinder add fennel seeds, onion powder, paprika, salt and pepper. Grind the spices into a powder.
2. Next, score your pork belly on the fat side of the meat with a sharp knife.
3. Rub the pork all over with the spice mixture.
4. In a small oven safe dish, add 3 tablespoons of olive oil and the onions. Place the pork belly on top of the onions and drizzle with 3 more tablespoons of olive oil.
5. Cover the pan with foil and place it in the oven to roast for 2 1/2 hours or until fork tender.
6. Remove the pork from the oven and let cool for at least 30 minutes or you can cool and refrigerate overnight to make the following day.
7. Remove three tablespoons of oil/fat from the dish and place in a skillet over medium high heat.
8. Sear the pork fat side down in the hot oil for 4-5 minutes or until crispy. Add the onions from the baking dish and sliced mushrooms and saute together next to the pork. Stir often so the onions don’t burn.
9. Flip the pork over and cook for 3 minutes on the other side.
10. Remove the pork from the pan and let rest for 5 minutes. Slice the pork belly into portions.
11. Serve the belly on plates with mushrooms and onions over the top. Makes for a great appetizer or entree depending upon the portion size. Enjoy!