Basic Pork Belly Roast
Is there anything better than pork belly? It combines my favorite flavors of pork (bacon and ham), is cooked splatter free in the oven, and is so so so mouthwatering! I first tried this fantastic cut of meat at the Moerlein Lager House during the Spring 2017 Cincinnati Restaurant Week. Needless to say, I was hooked! I have basically made a rule that if I see roasted pork belly on a menu now, I have to order it! I have yet to be let down!
The first time I made this delectable piece of pork at home was after randomly finding it in the meat case at Whole Foods Market. I bought it on a whim and at that time I had absolutely zero idea how easy it would be to make! One purchasing tip I can offer—choose a piece without the skin (my preference), and one that has even parts meat and fat. This isn’t something you will eat every day so (pun intended) go ham on that piece with great fat!
So now that I have you drooling, how do we make it?
For a super easy prep, I can recommend what I will call a dry brine. I start with cutting my 1 pound piece in half (optional). Then I mix 1 Tablespoon granulated sugar with 2 Tablespoons sea salt. This ratio gets a nice salty piece of meat that will most remind you of bacon.
You will want the mixture to evenly coat all sides of the pork belly. It will make it look like a super strange gummy worm (but don’t try to eat it yet! It isn’t ready!)
Next I like to cut grooves in the fatty side. This side gets roasted ‘up’ and these grooves will help get the fat get oh so nice and crispy!
The last thing to add is a few turns of the pepper mill. Your pork belly is now ready for the refrigerator! I would recommend letting this hang out for brine time in a covered dish for at least 8 hours or overnight. I have allowed my pork belly to dry brine before for up to 24 hours. In these example photos, I allowed about ten hours brine time and used it with eggs and a bagel for brunch. You can also use this same prep and just as easily serve it with roasted Brussel sprouts.
When you take your pork out of the fridge after brine time is up, you may notice a bit of ‘pork juice’ in the bottom of the dish. This is completely normal! Salt drawls some but not all of the liquid out of the meat which will help concentrate the flavors. The purpose of the dry brine/overnight brine time is to give the salt and seasoning time to penetrate and flavor your pork. The result you will get is a more flavorful and juicy pork belly than if you were to season and immediately roast it.
There are two roasting temperatures I use: First 425 for thirty minutes, then we move to 275 for a low and slow cook for about another hour. This will allow the best of both temperatures. High will get your pork belly nice and crispy on the outside, and low and slow helps ensure the inside is so tender it will practically melt in your mouth!
I hope you enjoy this easy peasy recipe! I promise the dry brine time and longer cook time will be worth the wait! Happy Cooking!
Basic Pork Belly Roast
1 pound Pork Belly, Skin Removed
1 Tablespoon granulated sugar
2 Tablespoons Sea Salt
Fresh Ground Pepper
- Cut Pork Belly in half (if desired)
- Combine granulated sugar and sea salt. Coat all sides of pork belly in mixture.
- Add freshly ground pepper to taste
- Refrigerate for at minimum 8 hours.
- Roast 30 minutes at 425
- Turn down heat to 275 and continue roasting for an additional hour, or until crispy to your liking.