Venture into any chic restaurant and they have an appetizer with pork belly in it. Perhaps it is served on a salad, or on polenta, or on beans. Or whatever the chef is overstocked on. Pork belly is made from the same cut as bacon, but it is not cured. It is usually oven roasted until it is luxuriously silky, soft, and succulent. Don't ask about the calorie count. Sometimes the skin is still on the belly when you get it, as in the photo above. You should remove it and make cracklins which can be used as a garnish.
Makes. 4 to 6 portions
Takes. 24 hours to marinate and 90 minutes to cook
1 pound of raw unsliced slab pork belly
1 cup teriyaki sauce
4 salads (see below)
1) Cut the belly into portions of about 1/4 pounds.
2) Marinate in a teriyaki sauce for 24 hours or more.
3) Discard the marinade. Roast or smoke with indirect heat at about 325°F until the fat is soft and tender and it reaches about 160°F (60 to 90 minutes). I cook it at a higher temp than normal because there is so much fat and I want it soft, and you don't need to cook it as high as ribs or shoulder because there is little connective tissue. It's a good idea to put a drip pan under it if you don't have a good fat drainage system.
4) While the belly is cooking, assemble your favorite salad. Use mixed greens as a start, but have fun. Add boiled potato, green beans, hard boiled egg, whatever you love. Dress it with LT Italian, my wife's herbed Italian vinaigrette.
5) If you have made cracklins, then sprinkle on the salad.