This post updated January 2016 as part of the #ThrowbackThursday photography project where I add new photos to older recipes.
We have really gotten into pork belly recently. It was all the rage several years ago, driving prices through the roof, but now that trends have moved on, it’s back to being a delicious, very inexpensive, cut of meat. Pork belly is the cut that is seasoned and smoked to make bacon, but the unprocessed form can usually be found in your grocer’s meat section, especially if you live near a high Korean population as pork belly is featured in many Korean dishes.
We enjoy it smoked on the grill, but with the chill outside, we decided to look for an alternative method to make it indoors. The spice rub came from The Clothes Make The Girl and, after a bit of testing, the oven roasting method we liked best was inspired by Kirbie Cravings. The pork belly was fantastic the day it was roasted, but I think the best part was slicing the leftovers thin the day after roasting and pan-crisping the slices until they’re golden on each side. So good served over a salad or with eggs.
Next time, I think I will let the pork belly cook at the lower temperature closer to 50-60 minutes and then increase to the higher temperature so I get a crispier skin. I let it cook a bit longer at the higher temperature, which helped some, but I think the lower temperature is really crucial to allow the skin to “dry” so it can crisp better.
On a side note before the recipe, I took the photos above using my new photography lights and I’m rather pleased with the results! Typically my night time shots were dark and yellow, but this looks much better and with a little practice, I think I should be able to mimic daytime photos quite well. Hooray!
- 2-2.5 lbs skin-on pork belly
- 3 cups water
- 4 cloves garlic, crushed into a paste or minced very finely
- 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon turmeric, freshly grated is amazing if you can get it
- 1 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp cinnamon
- 1 tablespoon lemon juice
- 1/2 tablespoon salt
The night before, or at least two hours before you plan to cook the pork belly:
- Score the skin side of the pork belly with a sharp paring knife.
- Combine all the spices and rub liberally across the meat side of the belly. Feel free to add more if desired, I usually do.
- Place the pork belly in a dish, cover, and refrigerate until you are ready to cook.
- Preheat your oven to 350F. Place an oven-safe rack in a roasting pan and put the water in the pan. Put the pork belly on the rack, not touching the water, skin side up.
- Bake at 350 F for 60-70 minutes, until the belly looks to be cooked through.
- Remove the pork belly from the oven and increase the temperature to 465 F. Add more water to the bottom pan if needed, then return the pork belly to the oven and allow to cook an additional 25-30 minutes until the skin is crisp and golden.
- Remove the pork belly from the oven and allow to rest 10 minutes before slicing. Cube or slice leftover pork belly and reheat by crisping in a skillet over medium heat.