I am in love, love, love with Crispy Pork Belly. I have always been a little apprehensive about preparing it myself though. I suppose all of the recipes I have read where quite confusing…do I boil first, or not…cook low and slow or quick…prepare Asian style or not…see my dilemma??? Well…maybe not…but just the trying to master it left me unwilling to even try.
I overcame that fear last week when I was in Harris Teeter and just by chance asked the butcher if they happened to have any…to my surprise they had an order for some and it was never picked up…so they cut me a nice piece about a pound in weight and I was off to test in my kitchen. My instincts took over and I decided to just go for it and to pair it with my fabulous, no-fail Parmesan Risotto…really? Who would do that…I did…and it was delicious! You will need about two hours to complete.
Heat oven to 425 degrees. Pat dry both sides of the pork belly. With the fat side up, score deep enough to puncture fat, but not the meat. I made about 6 lines across and 6 lines down on a diagonal. See pic below! Season the creases with salt. Wipe off any excess salt from the top and turn over. Season the underside with salt/pepper. Place on baking sheet and allow to bake in oven for 30 minutes. You will notice the fat side become crispy. Lower the temperature to 350 degrees and bake another hour.
I wanted mine to be super crispy, so after the hour, I turned on the broiler for about 2 minutes. Remove from oven and allow to rest for about 10 minutes. Slice and serve. The garlic you see in the pic below I used in my Risotto.