Enjoy Pork Belly Two Ways in this Traditional Danish Dish

If you love bacon, you love pork belly. Enjoy both along with savory potatoes in this satisfying dish from Denmark. This recipe shows you how to make it on your backyard grill.

Our Pitmaster Club members post recipes in The Pit and occasionally we ask for permission to share the best recipes with the public. Here is one by Christian Madsen, aka BBQ-Vikings.

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pork belly bacon potatoes and white sauce on a plate

This hearty and delicious no-nonsense meat and potatoes dish hails from Denmark. It will sustain even the hungriest pitmaster through a deep winter hibernation. Pork belly, both uncured and cured (as thick-cut bacon) make a superb match for roasted potatoes. A simple white sauce adds creaminess, while fresh parsley and lemon juice in the sauce make everything pop.

Course. Lunch. Dinner. Entree. Sauces and Condiments.

Cuisine. American. Danish.

Makes. About 4-6 servings

Takes. About 1 hour

Ingredients

1 pound pork belly

8 ounces thick cut bacon

3 pounds fingerling or new potatoes

Salt and pepper to taste

1 1/2 teaspoons flour

1 1/2 teaspoons butter

2 cups heavy cream or milk

2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice

2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

About the Pork Belly. Pork belly is one of several cuts of pork that are cured to make commercial bacon. It comes from the underside of the hog where the meat is heavily marbled with fat. See Meathead’s article on making bacon for tips about sourcing and buying uncured pork belly.

About the Potatoes. New or waxy potatoes work best here because they retain their shape over long cooking times. Look for Fingerling potatoes or small Yukon gold or red potatoes.

About the Cream Sauce. If you do not have heavy cream you can substitute milk, but the sauce will be a bit thinner and less rich. To thicken it, you can double the amounts of flour and butter. You can prepare the sauce in advance and keep it warm while the pork and potatoes cook.

Method

1) Prep. For the pork and potatoes, stash your piece of pork belly in the freezer for about 15 minutes. This will help firm it up and make it easier to slice the raw belly. Slice the firm belly into pieces about 1/2” thick and season with a sprinkle of salt on one side.

2) Scrub the potatoes.

3) Fire up. Pre-heat your grill for two zone cooking by placing a chimney full of pre-heated charcoal briquets on one side of the grill’s charcoal grate in order to create direct and indirect cooking zones. Adjust the grill vents to bring the temperature to about 350°F on the indirect side. On a gas grill, adjust the temperature knobs so that one half of the grill is off and the other half is heated enough to maintain a temperature of approximately 350°F on the indirect side.

4) Cook. Add the potatoes to a shallow metal pan or disposable pan and place below the grates on the indirect side. Alternatively, if your grill has a top rack place the pan of potatoes on the grill grate under the top rack.

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5) Lay the slices of bacon and pork belly on the grate above the pan. You can also place the bacon and pork belly upright in a slotted rack if you have one (as shown in the photo). While the meat cooks, the fat will drip on to the potatoes below, basting and flavoring them with fat and salt. Close the lid on the grill and let everything cook slowly until the meat is crisp on the edges and the potatoes are tender, 30 to 45 minutes. If the meat is crisp long before the potatoes are tender, remove the meat to avoid over cooking, and continue to cook the potatoes until tender.

6) For the sauce, melt the butter in a small saucepan over low heat and then stir in the flour to form what’s called a roux. Stir the mixture over low heat until it is light tan-brown in color, 2 to 3 minutes.

7) Whisk in the cream (or milk) and continue to whisk over low heat to remove any lumps.

8) Raise the heat to medium, cooking and stirring until the sauce simmers and thickens, 4 to 5 minutes. Stir in the lemon juice and parsley, adding salt and pepper to your taste.

9) Serve. Plate the potatoes with some slices of crisp bacon and pork belly, and ladle on a bit of the cream sauce.

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