Sunday, May 22, 2011

Citrus Glazed Pork Belly

On the Saraga trip this week, my Hubs also picked up a package of pork belly. Pork belly is the same magical cut of pork that bacon is derived from. The difference is that pork belly hasn't been smoked/cured like bacon & is still in its natural state.  While we are hoping to experiment with curing/smoking our own bacon this summer, for this round of pork belly I wanted to braise it. Braising is also an excellent cooking method when you have a tougher cut of meat to cook AND you have an excess of vegetables like carrots, onions, & celery that you need to cook.  With the vegetables in this recipe, I would not recommend eating them at the completion of the cooking.  I tasted a few of the veggies--they were overdone & the flavor wasn't that great.  They add great flavor to the cooking meat though & help raise the meat up out of the cooking fluid.

This recipe is altered from a recipe found at by user Sackville.  It is altered to serve 2-3 & to cook with things I had on hand. I served it with garlic-soy green beans. Overall, the flavor on this was excellent.

Citrus Glazed Pork Belly
Serves 2-3.  Total cooking time: 3 hours, 30 minutes.

Ingredient Lineup (minus the brown sugar)
Pork belly closeup

  • 1-2 pounds boneless pork belly, cut into individual portions
  • Kosher salt
  • Ground black pepper
  • 1 large onion, coarsely chopped
  • 2 ribs celery, coarsely chopped
  • 1.5 cups baby carrots
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate, undiluted
  • 2 T. brown sugar
  • 3 whole cloves
  • 1.5 t. dried thyme
  • 0.5 t. ground allspice
For glaze
  • 1/4 cup frozen orange juice concentrate
  • 1/4 cup sugar

1.  In a medium mixing bowl or liquid measuring cup, whisk together the chicken stock, orange juice, brown sugar, cloves, thyme & allspice.  Set aside.
Stock, OJ & spices.

2.  Remove pork belly from packaging.  Check to verify it is boneless, and remove bones if necessary.  If the pork belly still has a layer of skin, use a sharp knife to carefully separate the skin from the meat, reserving as much of the fat layer as possible.  Score the fat layer on the top of the pork belly with the knife, making shallow diagonal cuts across the thickest parts of the fat.  Generously rub salt & pepper over all surfaces of the pork pieces.
Make sure your knife is sharp...
Carefully separate the skin from the meat.

Score meat & rub with salt & pepper

3.  Coarsely chop all of your vegetables.  Layer your veggies into the bottom of a medium sized roasting pan. (For smaller roasting/braising jobs like this, I use a 9x13" baking pan that was the unfortunate, charred victim of a bacon-incident when serving brunch for 45 people about a year's not pretty, but it works).  

Notice my onion changed colors.  I had a bag of mixed red
and white onions in my produce drawer that were pre-chopped
and needed to be used...

4.  Place the portions of pork belly on top of the chopped vegetables, fat side up.  Place the pan under a high broil for 5-10 minutes until golden brown.  Remove pan from oven.  Turn oven down to 300 degrees.  


5.  Pour the chicken stock/orange juice mixture around the pork belly inside of the pan.  Tightly cover pan with aluminum foil.  Roast for 1.5 hours at 300 degrees.
Indent the foil on top of the pan so that juices condensate
back into the pan.  
After 1.5 hours of cooking

6.  Remove pan from oven, fold back foil and roast for an additional 1.5 hours.
Foil pulled back

After a total of 3 hours of braising.
7.  When the pork belly has about 30 minutes left to cook, start reducing the glaze.  Add the orange juice concentrate & the sugar to a small saucepan.  Cook on medium heat until glaze is thickened & syrupy. Stir frequently. 

Glaze at the beginning

Thickened glaze

8.  Remove pan from oven.  Move the pork to a cookie sheet that has been lined with aluminum foil & greased slightly with olive oil.  Brush all surfaces of the pork belly with a thick layer of the glaze.  Broil under high for 5-10 minutes until surfaces are crisping & the glaze is caramelizing. 

Pork Belly, glazed & broiled

9.  Plate pork belly & drizzle with a little bit of the remaining glaze.  

Very, Very Yummy...

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