Author Topic: Belly pork  (Read 1022 times)

Wowbagger

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Belly pork
« on: June 02, 2020, 06:54:12 pm »
I've used a fair few recipes for cooking belly pork, but my experience is that they don't cook the meat properly (in my view the fat should no longer be opaque when you eat it) and there's a tendency for any sauce spread over the slices to burn.

I'd be interested in others' experiences.
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nicknack

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Re: Belly pork
« Reply #1 on: June 02, 2020, 07:27:39 pm »
Long and slow is the general rule I believe.
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Gattopardo

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Re: Belly pork
« Reply #2 on: June 02, 2020, 08:17:14 pm »
Yes wowbagger you are right.  The problem IMO (cos I like cracking) arises when you want tasty (slow) cooked meat so it and crispy crackling.  The only way I have done this is low and slow cooked the meat and then higher temp and salt to dry out the crackling.  But I like my crakling crispy.

Some use a dry seasoned rub to get the crackling but I have failed on that one.

Re: Belly pork
« Reply #3 on: June 03, 2020, 09:35:47 am »
I usually only cook a belly joint, rather than slices, but I would generally agree that low and slow is the key for either slices or a joint in order to ensure the fat is properly cooked - it needs to have that soft, melt-in-the-mouth texture.

There's a really great recipe in a Sabrina Ghayour book. She rubs a pork belly joint with a mixture of spices and then puts it in a deep roasting tray. She then pours apple juice, orange juice around it and then tops it up so that the liquid level is around the bottom of the line of fat. Roast for about 5 hours at Gas Mark 2, keeping the liquid level up but not basting. Then stick the oven on full whack for around 30 minutes to crisp up the crackling.

For slices I normally put a rub or marinade on them and then cook them wrapped in foil or in a covered dish on Gas 3 for an hour or so, before roasting them on Gas 6 or 7 to finish them and give them colour.

fboab

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Re: Belly pork
« Reply #4 on: June 03, 2020, 11:22:25 am »
I turn it into rilletes. But that's still cooked low & slow with herbs before it's shredded.

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Regulator

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Re: Belly pork
« Reply #5 on: June 03, 2020, 04:29:47 pm »
I cook belly pork either quickly at a higher heat or slowly at a low heat.  The first produces the best crackling IME - the latter produces a more tender, shreddable meat.

The best crackling requires double salting (salt, leave overnight uncovered in the fridge, rinse, pat dry, salt, pepper and oil before cooking). 

When I slow cook, it tends to be with a lot herbs and/or spices... I usually end up shredding it or leaving leaving it whole but having it cold. 
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Re: Belly pork
« Reply #6 on: June 04, 2020, 04:53:01 am »
It works on a BBQ cooked quickly the same way lamb chops do. Crispy fat. Best done with the lid on or you tend to get them cremated on the outside and raw in the middle.
I think you'll find it's a bit more complicated than that.

Re: Belly pork
« Reply #7 on: June 04, 2020, 10:57:51 am »
I guess it's all about either having sufficient heat or sufficient time to get the fat cooked properly.

Which ever way you do it, you need enough heat to crisp crackling properly, if you have the skin.

Alternatively, I've taken the skin off and dried it before deepfrying to make some kind of chicharrones, and then slowcooked the rest of the pork to make carnitas. Taco time.

Or you could make Sichuanese bowl steamed belly pork with preserved vegetables (mei cai kou rou) which is the greatest dish known to humankind.

ElyDave

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Re: Belly pork
« Reply #8 on: June 04, 2020, 07:29:11 pm »
I've done low and slow before with some success, but with the skin removed and cooked separately on a rack in the same oven. Plenty of salt and allowing the air to circulate was the trick for the skin I think, no added oil.
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CrazyEnglishTriathlete

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Re: Belly pork
« Reply #10 on: June 19, 2020, 09:13:35 am »
I cooked belly pork last week - four hours at gas mark 3 and it was fine - the crackling worked with the usual salt-and-olive-oil paste rubbed in vigorously before roasting.  One tip I have used in the past is to put the joint in an oven preheated high (gas mark 8) and roast it at a high temperature for 30 minutes before turning the heat right down - that is supposed to get the crackling started.  But that defeated the exercise of putting the meat on and then going out for a cycle ride whilst it looked after itself.  And I found that the quality of crackling seemed to depend more on how well I worked the salt into the skin than anything else.
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Wowbagger

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Re: Belly pork
« Reply #11 on: June 28, 2020, 01:38:20 pm »
I usually only cook a belly joint, rather than slices, but I would generally agree that low and slow is the key for either slices or a joint in order to ensure the fat is properly cooked - it needs to have that soft, melt-in-the-mouth texture.

There's a really great recipe in a Sabrina Ghayour book. She rubs a pork belly joint with a mixture of spices and then puts it in a deep roasting tray. She then pours apple juice, orange juice around it and then tops it up so that the liquid level is around the bottom of the line of fat. Roast for about 5 hours at Gas Mark 2, keeping the liquid level up but not basting. Then stick the oven on full whack for around 30 minutes to crisp up the crackling.

For slices I normally put a rub or marinade on them and then cook them wrapped in foil or in a covered dish on Gas 3 for an hour or so, before roasting them on Gas 6 or 7 to finish them and give them colour.

Thanks for that. I found this in the Irish Times - https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/food-and-drink/recipes/sabrina-ghayour-six-hour-eastern-spiced-pork-belly-1.2634943 which sounds like the same recipe. I'm giving it a go today, or the nearest I can given the stuff we have in the house.
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Wowbagger

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Re: Belly pork
« Reply #12 on: June 28, 2020, 09:10:57 pm »
That was very good indeed. The crackling was a bit hard, but the meat fell apart and the flavour was superb. We combined it with root veg using a poncey recipe from a book by Anna Jones, which was a birthday prezzo from my Maidstone daughter. Will try both again.
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Re: Belly pork
« Reply #13 on: June 29, 2020, 01:32:58 pm »
That was very good indeed. The crackling was a bit hard, but the meat fell apart and the flavour was superb. We combined it with root veg using a poncey recipe from a book by Anna Jones, which was a birthday prezzo from my Maidstone daughter. Will try both again.
That was the one, I'm glad you enjoyed it! It's quite a lot of spices but they don't overpower the meat like some recipes and the texture is lovely.

I've never quite mastered crackling if I'm honest. Sometimes it's great but I'm never sure why. Other times it's just a bit too hard - never quite that dry, chewy old leather texture - but too hard nonetheless. I do sometimes give in to temptation, remove the skin before cooking and deep fry it...