Pork Belly | Food and Beverage Today
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Chefs, has pork belly returned to your menu yet? If not, read on...

 


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Culinary Techniques

Prepare and Prosper: Pork Belly

P

ork Belly is popping up in restaurants everywhere. This cut of pork is part of the loin, contains the pork belly, spareribs, smoked for bacon and cured for pancetta. Chefs have been taking this cut of pork and making delicious dishes.

pork belly, bacon

This rustic, fatty cut is used in a variety of cuisines, shredded for rillettes, confit (slow cooked), to make terrines, and it is the cut for bacon and salt pork. Pork belly is a fatty, tough, flavorful cut that weighs about 18 pounds whole, while skinless weighs about 13 pounds. The pork belly accounts for 16 % of the carcass weight. Also available is the center cut pork belly, and where each rib has been removed. This streaky meat contains the spareribs, and rest is generally used for bacon. Also known as American or Streaky bacon, Center cut Pork belly, Spareribs, and Flank pork or Draft pork.

Preparing Pork belly has to be a slow process, just as you would slow roast any tough cut of meat. Simmer a well spiced stock for 2 to 3 hours, or until tender, adding any spice affinity to come out in the dish. After cooling in the liquid, pan sear till crisp and brown. Or you can roast at 325° for 1 hr and 45 min per 2lb (900g) then 30 min per extra lb (450g)You should allow 4 to 8 oz per person.

  • Cut the belly straight at the shoulder for further processing
  • Trim the ham end of the belly
  • Trim the lower portion to remove the nipples, using the cut offs for ground meats
  • Now you will have a square piece of belly, you can stuff and roast a piece, herb, tie and roll skin up like a roast. Or cut sections for individual servings.

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