Braised Pork Belly with Lemon Mustard Rub

Discussion in 'Nose to Tail' started by snorkelinggirl, Jul 20, 2013.

  1. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    There has been a lot of talk about uncured pork belly on the forum recently, so I decided to throw out this post just for fun. Since it involves braising, I decided to stick it in the nose-to-tail section as a lot of the recipes here involve braising.

    Braised pork belly is absolutely lovely. Restaurants often remove the skin, I guess to cater to the low-fat crowd. But if you eat braised pork belly with the skin removed, you are seriously missing the best part. 

    Start off with a nice 3 - 4 lb section of pork belly. Skin on, please!  I cut the pork belly section into 3 pieces so that it would fit into my braising dish nicely, but you could leave it whole if you want.  My rub was kosher salt, mustard powder, mustard seeds, sugar, lemon zest, fresh rosemary, minced garlic, and crushed red pepper flakes. The recipe I mostly followed is from the Food Network. Pat the rub all over the belly (except for the skin, it won't stick there anyway), and let the belly rest in the refrigerator at least 8 hours and up to a day or two.

    Here is the belly with the rub, picture is with the skin side down.  I think this section of the belly might have come from closer to the shoulder; it was quite meaty and didn't have the typical striations I associate with pork belly.

    For the braising liquid I sauteed some onion, fennel, and garlic in a little olive oil. Deglazed with white wine, then added in chicken stock, thyme, bay leaves, and a little stone-ground mustard. Nestled in the pork belly skin side down, and braised for 3 hours, flipping the pork belly over a couple of times. Don't add in any additional salt, because between the rub and the stone-ground mustard, there is already plenty of salt in there.

    Here it is in the braising liquid.

    And here is the belly after braising. Completely tender.  The skin is helpful here in holding the belly section together so it doesn't fall apart. 

    You could go ahead and serve the belly just like this.  But, the texture is way better if you let the belly sit in the refrigerator overnight with a weight on it to compress it into a nice sliceable form, and then reheat it before serving. Plus, you can have it made in advance this way.

    Here is my belly with weights on it.

    After it gets cold, you can slice it into individual servings and then reheat it gently prior to serving.  I heated up the belly pieces in a 350 deg F oven for about 15 minutes, then ran them skin-side-up under the broiler for a few minutes to make the skin puffy.

    Here are some individual servings of the braised pork belly after it was pressed and refrigerated overnight.

    As I was feeling all frenchy, I served the braised belly with a puy lentil salad.  I defatted the braising liquid after it sat in the refrigerator overnight, and then reduced down the braising liquid to use it as a sauce.

    Here is the finished plated shot of the braised belly with lentil salad, and a little reduced braising sauce.  Pretty much the most delicious thing I've ever eaten! 

    Thanks for checking out my post!

    mdboatbum likes this.
  2. daveomak

    daveomak Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    That stuff looks good enough to eat.....   and healthy too....  I'd eat it...    
  3. [​IMG]   [​IMG]   [​IMG]    That does look scrumptious!  [​IMG]        
  4. foamheart

    foamheart Smoking Guru OTBS Member SMF Premier Member

    Wow, I asked 12 hours ago about what I was calling baked bacon. That looks really good, Got a new pork belly incoming tomorrow. Definitely gonna try it.

    Thank you for sharing Clarissa.
  5. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Brilliant[​IMG].Lovely photo's as usual. I do something similar with the weights on some pork belly dishes . I like the puy  lentils very french. Very clever bit of cookery. Skin on the only way for my money. 
  6. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    <Laugh>  Yeah, maybe not the healthiest thing to eat, but so amazingly delicious.  Leftovers for lunch today!  Yay!  But my husband and I are going for a hike this morning, to get the arteries cleaned out first!  Thanks for checking out my post, Dave!
    Thanks so much for the compliments and looking at my post!!  Have a great day!
    Hi Foamheart,

    I did read through your post, and also another thread posted recently about pork belly.  You inspired me to go ahead and post on braising pork belly.  If you are getting a full belly, I'd encourage you to save a section and try out this recipe or something similar (search "braised pork belly" on Google, you'll come up with lots of recipe options).   If you have any leftovers of it after dinner, you can slice the braised belly thin (still with the skin on!),  and heat it up in a frying pan until warmed and maybe slightly browned. It is absolutely delicious with fried eggs for breakfast.  A completely different texture from bacon, all soft and meltingly tender, but equally delicious in its own way. 

    Thanks for your compliment and have a great day!
  7. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Hi Mick,

    Thanks so much!!  Yeah, I was feeling frenchy yesterday, so did the lentil salad with a dijon mustard-shallot vinaigrette.  Leftovers will definitely taste good today.  I really like how the texture of the braised belly turns out after weighting it down and chilling it.   I've seen some recent posts about smoking uncured pork belly, but I don't see how you could get that soft and pillowy skin texture in a smoker. Have you tried that out?  Seems like you really need to use braising if you want to eat the skin.

    Thanks for the compliments and looking at my post.  Have a great day!

  8. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I do the chinese masterstock version which I  posted way back. It can pressed after the long simmer then cut & hard fried to crisp the skin ,served with a sauce made from poaching liquid & few bits..Its a great cut of pork. Very popular here. In big pigs its gets pretty fatty but if you set the fat then skim whats it matter?
  9. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

  10. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    I'll look up your chinese masterstock post, thanks for mentioning it and giving the link to it.  I have quite a few pork jowls rattling around in my freezer, usually make guanciale with these but think I might try the braising/pressing technique on one of those and see how it comes out.  Should be fine, just like un-deconstructed head cheese, if you know what I mean? [​IMG]

    Thanks for all of your advice and suggestions.  You should teach a class on nose-to-tail cookery!  [​IMG]   Sign me up!
  11. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Looks delish as usual!  I would love to do this...but Lynn (hubby) will cut the teeniest sliver of fat off of anything. Can you image him with this?  LOL

    He loves bacon tho....fried is the way for him.  Silly boy...He has no clue what he is missing!

  12. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Ha!  No, there wouldn't be much left on his plate after trimming off the fat!  However, thinking about all the green beans you are canning....I can't imagine anything more delicious than a slice of salty bacon or crispy pork belly sitting on top of a pile of green beans. Yum!
  13. Great looking dish!!!! Again, a wonderful post for a twist on the "norm" if you will. Excellent way to try the belly other than bacon.

    You are right, I think it would be great in Kat's beans!
  14. kathrynn

    kathrynn Smoking Guru OTBS Member

    Yummmm.....and that would be MINE!

  15. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Thank you, Alesia!! It was very tasty with lentil salad, but would have been awesome with Kat's beans!

    And also thank you for your compliment about my canned cherries and pickles over on Kat's thread. I didn't want to reply over there as I had already hijacked more than I should have!

    Have a great day!

    We need to arrange a trade!  [​IMG]
  16. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Mods, please lock and/or delete this thread as it's of a subversive nature that's likely to erode the very fiber that holds the smoking world together. It's well written, doesn't involve pulled pork, ribs or brisket and most heinously of all, makes no mention of beer or farting.

    You should be ashamed of yourself young lady. I've half a mind to try your recipe myself just to prove how weird and unAmerican it is. I might even have seconds, just to make sure.
  17. snorkelinggirl

    snorkelinggirl Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Clearly, you were nowhere close by following consumption of the lentil salad and pork belly. [​IMG]

    But seriously, thank you so much!!  Pork is a miracle many great ways to prepare it: smoked, unsmoked, cured, uncured. And all of them are delicious.

    Have a great day, and thanks again!

  18. pcallison

    pcallison Fire Starter

     I think I just gained ten lbs just reading this thread, LOL. It's funny, my daughter called a couple days ago & said they'd picked up their hog at the butchers & had a belly they didn't know what to do with. At the butchers recommendation, they braised it similar to yours, She said, was the best food she had ever eaten. Had it for dinner, breakfast, & what little was left over, they had for sandwitchs.Definately will have to give this a try.See ya Phillipl
  19. moikel

    moikel Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Nose to tail, sophisticated cookery with unsophisticated ingredients.[​IMG]
  20. mdboatbum

    mdboatbum Master of the Pit OTBS Member

    Just had a thought. What if one were to do everything the way you described, but do the reheat in a smoker? It would still get smoke flavor at least on the outside. It'd likely be very subtle, but it sounds like subtlety would work on this.

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