Twice Cooked Pork Belly with Grilled Peaches and Sweet Corn Relish

Twice Cooked Pork Belly with Grilled Peaches and Sweet Corn Relish

Created by Guest Chef, Phillip Schaaf

The pork belly is a king’s cut of meat. Thick and delicious, a little bit of belly can really go a long way. The belly of the pig is where every carnivore’s favorite meat product, bacon, comes from. And because of the popularity of bacon, raw pork belly is more scarce and in demand these days. It's very important to know how to treat it so that you can yield the best results.

Pork belly can be cooked in a variety of ways. The percentage of fat in an average pork belly is 45-55% so it is important to render that fat properly so that the end product is edible and delicious. This takes some coaxing and slow cooking. We are going to cook our belly twice, but before we even apply heat we are going to season it for at least 12 hours. 

Our seasoning for the belly is incredibly simple as it is just three ingredients; salt, sugar, and vinegar. The salt is always kosher. The vinegar can vary, although I prefer a sweeter variety, such as apple cider, rice or if you are lucky to have a Filipino market near you, cane vinegar.

Sugar can vary as well. Dark brown sugar is great, but coconut sugar can work as well, or even molasses. If you are eating keto, you could use Stevia sweetener or just cut the sugar altogether.

Our first stage of cooking the belly is going to be slow and low. This will help render the fat and keep the meat tender without drying it out. The second cook will be at high heat with either a skillet or grill. This will add a bit of crispy texture and caramelization.

Given the fatty deliciousness of pork belly, it is  best to pair it with components that bring a bit of acidity and bitterness to cut through all of the unctuous decadence. A simple relish of grilled peaches and sweet summer corn will brighten up this belly.

INGREDIENTS:

For the Belly:

Grass Roots forested Uncured Pork Belly
1 tbsp salt
tbsp sugar (optional)
2 tsp sweet vinegar (cider, rice, or cane)

For the Grilled Peach and Sweet Corn Relish:

2 medium-size, semi-ripened peaches, halved, pitted, grilled and diced
1 ear of corn, shucked, steamed and corn removed from the cob
1 shallot, minced
1 bunch parsley, chopped
tsp rice vinegar
1 tbsp good olive oil
1 tsp kosher salt
cracked black pepper to taste

INSTRUCTIONS:

For the Belly:

  1. Mix the salt, sugar and vinegar in a small bowl. Coat the belly entirely with the mixture and then refrigerate for at least 12 hours before cooking. 

  2. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees.

  3. Roast the belly on a roasting rack in a pan until the internal temperature is 190 degrees.

  4. Let the belly cool completely and then slice into half inch thick slabs.

  5. Preheat a grill or cast iron skillet for high heat. 

  6. Cook the slabs of pork belly until it is heated through and has a crispy exterior texture.

  7. Serve the pork belly with grilled peach and sweet corn relish with crispy fried rice.

For the Grilled Peach and Sweet Corn Relish:

Halve and pit the peaches. Lightly oil the peaches and grill them at high heat, flesh side down. Peel and dice the peaches and combine them with the other ingredients in a medium mixing bowl.  Refrigerate for a bit before serving.

See other flavorful pork recipes here:

Beer braised baby back pork ribs - recipe

How to make a tonkatsu pork sando

Grilled center cut Nuoc Pham pork chops and mung bean salad

Slow cooker braised pork shoulder

Maple glazed pork loin roast

Smothered bone-in pork chops