OK, I have limited photos, I swear I took some but they seem to be hiding out.
What I made was a pig belly brined smoked crackling. I know, I heard you just suck in your breath with antisipation. I just ate it and it was what the BBQ Gods must eat while looking down upon us! Maybe its the original ambrosia!
I am sorry I can't find past pictures so please bear with me as I will try to explain whats missing.
These are cleaned bellies I have curing for bacon....... Mmmmmmm bacon gud! I clean and trimed these before curing so I could make cracklin's not to be confussed with cracklings. Never knew how important that "g" could be.
This all started a year ago when Clarissa did something that made me think of this. The crackling that is.
For a terminology defination I'll call each of those pieces of cleaned belly a slab. A slab is a very flexible term.
I took an exceptionally thick & meaty slab and set it aside for this experiment.
Now you must use your own magic and imagine seeing one of the slabs double length, no not east and west but double north and south. <Chuckles>
I put in a tupperware bowl by folding it in half, of course the skin side was in the middle. Then I made a poured my loin brine over it.
Pork Loin Brine (Pork Loin = 143 IT)
1 qt. Water
1/2C Brown sugar
1C Apple cider
1/4C Maple syrup
½ T Maple extract
Thats some good stuff there......
It sat in the reefer in my way for 2 full days, the out dryed amd back in over night to dry a little.
Then to the smoker, 1 hours de-water, 3 hours of apple smoke climaxing at 145 degrees IT. Work your thermostat to achieve 145 in 4 hours total because....... Thats right its not cured and we want to be safe! Although the brine will cover any close calls.
Out of the smoker, ZOMG it smells sooooo good, luckily I smoked it while cooking the cracklins (not to be confused with cracklins), so I wasn't tempted to just stop and eat it then and there!
I cut the rind or skin off, its easier when its all molten ooey gooey. and back to the reefer till today.
We have a brined and smoked slab, seriously and techinally I believe that mades it bacon. <Shrugs>
I placed it fat side up and made the cutest little criss crossed scores in the fat.
In the 9 x 13 casserole pyrex pan and into the oven at 325 degrees! Its already been to 145 so whatever we do now is just extra gravy on your rice! Three hours later, I crank the heat up to 400 for the last 20 mins.
OMG!! I have a picture!
Oh did I mention I cut it in half before baking?
I let it sit doe 30 mins. and sliced it with the score marks.
That is crunchie goodness on top were that fat has slightly rendered. Of course its juicy. I also have to say its the richest meat I ever ate. Just a little bit goes a long way, even when you have good fresh Louisiana sweet potatoes on the plate with it.
If you are counting calories, or worried about chloristeral (I know its misspelled, figure it out...LOL), you might want to pass on this. If you want the most decadent meal you'll ever eat, I doubt you'll be able to beat this one. GWAD it was great!
Its one of those meals you know the French must have a name for like "ITSUNBELIVEABLEPORKDISH"
Brined, smoked pork belly crackling, cantaloupe, Louisiana Sweet potatoes, and a pear salad. I thought the sweet potatoes would compliment the bellies richness. It tried!
This was totally amazing.
One last comment, I got a jar of "dripping", I don't know what to do with but its has the mose unbelieve aroma you ever smelled!! I am open to suggestions!
I am so sorry to have lose or misplaced the pictures, especially since I was trying to document it. Awesome sauce!
I would liek to thank Clarissa aka "Snorklegirl" for inspiring this. She is a great chef who is cloaked in a nurse's clothing!
Thanks for checking it out, and I can only hope you take a chance and try this....... its really over the top!