This pork belly recipe is super simple as it utilizes staple seasonings like salt and pepper and a little extra virgin olive oil. The extended roasting period creates a super tender and juicy product, while the oven temperature is adjusted so the pork belly can develop its signature crackling. Pork belly is a mixture of crispy skin and tender meat that explodes in your mouth the minute it is consumed.
What Is Pork Belly?
As the name implies pork belly is a fatty cut of pork found on the belly of the animal that is used to make bacon and pancetta. It can be roasted to perfection creating a super crispy skin covered in what is called crackling. With every bite of roasted pork belly, you will experience contrasting textures of crunchiness and tenderness that prompt you to make this recipe over and over again.
Even though the demand for pork belly has increased it is still reasonably cheaper than other cuts of pork. Because of this Pork belly has become popular among at home chefs and they have fallen in love with the contrasting textures and flavours of the meat.
Ways To Cook Pork Belly
Pork belly is known for its high-fat content that gives a succulent flavour to the meat. Pork belly has always been cooked using slow cooking techniques that let the fat melt into the meat. Slow roasting pork belly in the oven allows the fat to melt into the meat while allowing the delicious skin to crisp up and creating contrasting textures that melt in your mouth.
Modern professionals and at home chefs have discovered that pork belly can be braised or stewed which results in a lovely chewy texture since some of the fat does not render into the meat. Additionally, sous vide cooking techniques have gained popularity because they create remarkable flavours and textures. Sous vide refers to a culinary term that describes cooking food at relatively low temperatures for a long time. The meat is placed into a vacuum-sealed bag or plastic pouch and gently cooked in a water bath at relatively low temperatures for a long time.
Pork belly comes in large slabs that can be roasted whole or cut into strips. Both cuts of meat are delicious and can be cooked in a variety of ways. Most people choose slow cooking methods because they want the scrumptious fat to render into the meat. They can also slice the pork belly into strips and pan-sear or barbecue them. This cooking method will not produce a product that is as tender as slow cooking methods however, this method is still equally delicious. There are even trends that dress up pork belly by adding flavor rubs and marinades making the flavour combinations are endless.
How to Roast Pork Belly
Preheat your oven to 350 ℉. Dry the surface of your pork belly off using a paper towel, then using a sharp knife score the layer of fat on top of the pork being careful not to cut into the meat. Drizzle the olive oil over the surface of the meat and rub it all over the pork belly. Massage the meat with salt and pepper and place the pork belly onto a pan with rimmed sides.
Roast the pork for 2 hours until the meat is cooked through. Then increase the heat and allow the pork belly to roast for 30 minutes to allow the gorgeous crackling to develop. Remove the pork belly from the oven and transfer it to a sheet pan lined with parchment paper or foil.
Slow Roasted Pork Belly
This pork belly is roasted until the meat is tender. The low cooking temperature allows the creamy fat to melt into the meat creating a tender and flavourful texture while adjusting the temperature allows the super crunchy crackling to develop. These contrasting textures combine to form an explosion of flavor in your mouth.
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Cook time: 2 hours 30 minutes | Total Time: 2 hours 30 minutes | Servings:8 | Calories: 309.4 kcals
- 1 lb pork belly
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 4 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
- Preheat the oven to 350 ℉. Pat the surface of the meat dry and using a sharp knife, score the surface of the pork belly without cutting into the meat. Drizzle the olive oil and spread it over the pork belly. Sprinkle the salt and pepper onto the pork belly and massage it into the meat.
- Place the meat into the oven and roast for 2 hours until the meat is nice and tender. Increase the temperature of the heat to 460 ℉ and let the pork belly roast for 30 minutes. When the pork belly turns golden brown and the skin has crisped up the meat is finished cooking.
- Transfer the meat to a sheet pan lined with foil or parchment paper. Let the meat rest, then slice the meat and serve.
Calories: 309kcal | Carbohydrates: 0.2g | Protein: 5.3g | Fat: 31.8g | Saturated Fat: 11.2g | Cholesterol: 40.8mg | Sodium: 578.3mg | Potassium: 102.8mg | Sugar: 0g | Vitamin D: 0 mcg | Calcium: 0mg | Iron: 1mg
This roasted pork belly is bursting with amazing flavour. The meat is tender and flavourful and the crackling is crunchy creating a flavor profile unlike any other meat on the planet.