Showing posts with label fat. Show all posts
Showing posts with label fat. Show all posts

Monday, May 5, 2014


unbelievable crispy skin pork belly.
this is what pork belly dreams are made of...
i could've eaten the whole thing right then and there...YIKES !

the BEST crispy skin i have ever accomplished.  
maybe it was the technique...maybe because i didn't mess with it.  maybe it was just THIS piece of belly...all i did was season it up and throw it in the oven. i don't know what is was, but...

as you can slices very clean after refrigeration.

wrap cooled pork belly in parchment.  sometimes...MOST OF THE TIME,  i use a cut brown paper bag to wrap.  then place this in a storage container with the lid "ajar".
i have been able to keep the crisp for a few days.  you can sear it in a pan, or warm in a toaster oven.

this piece (above) was gently seared after refrigeration. 
use a very sharp knife or a box cutter works well.  
no need to roll it like this.  i just did it to get the salt in there and the photo of the cross hatch cut...
above is the way i prepare it for the oven...easy clean up using tinfoil, but not necessary.

sprinkle salt, chipotle, coriander on the meat side.
sprinkle salt and just a bit of the chipotle-coriander on the skin.  let it get inside the cuts, but brush it off of the top.
make a bed of onions, garlic and shallots under the belly (now i also put green apple slices)
total cooking time was about 3 to 4 1/2 hours
check on it after about 3 to 3 1/2 hours.  every pork belly is different!  poke it in the meaty it REALLY fork tender?  go ahead and leave it in for an extra 1/2 hour or so.  when it is truly fork tender take it out of the oven and let it rest for 20-30 minutes.  turn your oven to 480F with top element only to preheat while it is resting.  
NEW NOTE...12-9-14  sometimes i remove the belly and put it on a different pan.  that way the bed of onions wont burn.  the onions might need to go back in under close watch for a few minutes to caramelize.  they are delicious!
NOW...put the belly back in and sit there and watch it.  it should start to puff up like popcorn.  let it do its thing until all looks crispy.  careful not to let it burn.

i have done this now 5-7 more times and every time it comes out perfect.

NOTE...use a VERY sharp knife.  OR you can turn the crispy side down and slice through the meat first to get a good clean cut on the crispy skin.

i'm telling is melt-in-your-mouth meaty fatty goodness!

you could almost consider this a healthy taco...? or at least carb-free

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Crispy Skin Bone-in Pork Belly by Bill Granger

here you promised ...

the 3 to 4 hour PORK BELLY

if you've been following along you probably read about the delicious 3 DAY Pork Belly.  well, this one takes about 3-4 HOURS and it's just as pork-belly-icious!.  
i always say...
"you can't go wrong with pork belly".

this technique produces the ultimate crispy crunchy skin and...
juicy fat dripping tender pork belly.

two things that i had never tried before... cooking a pork belly with the bone in and cooking skin side down for the first few hours. 
for some reason it's a little more expensive with the bone, but that's only about $3.59 a pound.  more money = more delicious?...not a big difference, but the meat next to the bones and the ribs i ate immediately were fall-off-the-bone delicious.
after it was all finished, i removed the bones with a long sharp knife very close to the bones so that slicing the pork belly in serving portions would be much easier.  on Bill's show he was able to slice each portion with bone still attached which made for a nice plate presentation.   his servings looked like unctuous pork chops with belly fat and skin attached, if that makes sense.
the Caramel Vinegar Glaze is delicious as well.  i did not finish the glaze until late night so it didn't make the photo, but do try it.  i think it would go well with just about any pork dish...or chicken. far as the skin side down results?... i'm pretty sure i will do it this way from now on...the skin was perfect !!!...extra crispy.

by Bill Granger

3 1/2 lb pork belly with bones
2 Tbsp kosher salt, plus more as needed
extra virgin olive oil, as needed
fresh ground black pepper

score the skin of the pork belly in criss-cross pattern as shown.  rub the salt into the skin and set aside for 30 minutes

preheat oven to 425 degrees.

wipe the salt off of the skin and dry well with a paper towel.  drizzle a large roasting pan with olive oil. as you can see, i lined the pan with tin foil for easier clean up...BAD IDEA.  the skin stuck in some areas where the oil did not meet the skin.  note to self...go for bare naked and deal with the clean up later, it's not all that bad. the pork skin side down on the roasting dish and season the top with salt and pepper and a drizzle of olive oil.  put in the oven for 30 minutes to sear the skin.  then  reduce the heat to 375F degrees.  continue cooking for another 1 1/2 to 2 (mine was in for about 2 1/2 hours), or until fork tender.  now remove from oven and carefully flip over so it is skin side up.  roast for another 30 minutes or until skin is good and crispy.  you might choose to use the broiler for a moment watching carefully!
remove the pork belly from the oven and let rest for at least 15-20 minutes.

the roast is easiest to cut with the skin side down on the board.  my bones were going the length of the pork belly so i removed them close to the bone.  (NOTE...the meat next to the bone is the chef's secret treasure bites). if your bones are going the width, you can slice a serving with bone attached for plating presentation and maximum enjoyment.

(not shown, but delicious)

1/2 cup brown sugar
1/3 cup red wine vinegar
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 cup good chicken stock
juice from 1 orange,  plus 4 wide strips of orange peel
sea salt and fresh ground pepper

put the sugar, vinegar, star anise and cinnamon in a small sauce pan and cook, stirring over medium heat until the sugar has dissolved.  bring to a boil and simmer for about 5-10 minutes or until mixture is syrupy.  stir in chicken stock and simmer until slightly reduced.  add the orange juice and peel, reduce the hat to a low simmer until the mixture is thick and syrupy.  don't forget to season with salt and pepper when just about done.
NOTE...this took longer than expected.  give yourself 30-45 minutes for a nice syrupy glaze.

above is example of scoring.  my new favorite tool for the job is a razor sharp box cutter.
 above is before oven using tinfoil...bad idea.  don't use tinfoil... and below is after roasting with skin side down.  it should be fork tender at this point.  then it goes in skin side up for the final crisping of the skin.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Easy Hock Terrine

what to do with big beautiful UGLY ham hock...?

break it down, tear it apart, smash it in to a loaf tin...

call it charcuterie !...

hi peoples...
sorry, "writers block"... apropos.  a block for a block.

maybe that's why i have 23 drafts with photos and recipes waiting for some fabulous intelligent description...hmmm...intelligent just ain't gonna happen.

SO...this is a "WHAT YOU SEE IS WHAT YOU GET" kind of post.
hence, this is more of an idea rather than a recipe.

while shopping at one of my favorite Asian markets, H Mart, i came across a beautiful fresh already cooked ham hock...displayed much like a supermarket might display it's fresh roasted chickens. it was still warm and pliable so i snatched the best looking one up and brought it home.  with a fridge over flowing with food ready to eat i thought what am i gonna do with this big hunk o' hock ?!

i know...i'll make a terrine.


of course you can cook your own ham hock and do the same thing, but that takes hours....and ingredients.

ham hocks, much like trotters (aka pig feet) have a lot of good sticky collagen.  this is what makes for good glue in a terrine.  no gelatin needed.

all of the following should be done with a warm pliable cooked enough to touch and work with.
remove the skin in one piece, if possible.  this makes a nice outer layer and helps hold everything together.  tear apart the meat and tendons.  remove any bones and cartilage.  chunks can be large, but better long and thin instead of fat chunks.  add a little hot water (broth if you have some) maybe start with 1/2 cup to get some of the juices flowing.  SEASONING IS KEY...taste your filling.  maybe add some chopped scallions, chinese five spice, garlic or onion powder, cumin?...salt and pepper!  terrines are something that need extra flavor.
find a vessel that will work well.  i use a small loaf pan.  spray the inside lightly then line with plastic wrap.  leave over hang on all sides.  cut the skin in strips and layer the bottom.  then start packing the goods in...evenly dispersing the meat, fat, tendons and odd bits and pieces.  everything must go in so that it will hold together, but you can discard any unwanted dark ugly veins.
pour what juices you have left over the top and let it sink in.cover with hang over plastic wrap and press down hard with something flat that fits the top of the meat.  you don't want any air pockets.  place in fridge with a weights on top.  your terrine should be ready in a few hours. have made a terrine.
pretty enough for any charcuterie platter.
serve chilled, sliced thin.

Thursday, June 21, 2012

Cured Pork Belly Roasted with Apple, Onion and Brown Sugar


i go to the Asian market every few weeks just to pick up some fresh tofu and some chili oil...maybe a few sweets for Dad from the bakery next door...

how does that darn pork belly jump into my shopping cart every single time ? !

mmmmm...the pork belly is succulent, the bacon is crispy, the onion and gala apple are caramelized in brown sugar and pork fatty goodness...
even the nay-sayers will bow to the pork belly...
it's very hard to ruin and it is so versatile.  so many ways to cook and so many ways to present.
you can't go wrong...

pork belly stacked with brown sugar-butter sauteed apple topped with caramelized onion.  i hear the sirens approaching.  
defibrillator...CLEAR !

the 1st one was a bit small and only had skin on i covered it with bacon and it was crunchy, smoky, baconie, fatty and delicious

2nd time...bigger slab with more skin/fat, no need for bacon wrap.  i used more apples and brown sugar...yumm.  these apples remained in large enough pieces to serve with the belly.


i suppose this could be done in a ziploc freezer bag, but i like to use a tupperware or glass/ceramic loaf pan so that the skin is not soaking in the cure...what ever will fit the piece of pork belly you have bought.

1/4 cup kosher salt
1/4 cup brown sugar
1-2 tsp fresh ground pepper

buy yourself a 2-3 lb. slab of belly with bones
i like to wash and dry it completely with paper towels before doing the cure.
completely cover the belly with the mixture.  place skin/fat side up in non-reactive container just big enough to fit. cover and let sit in fridge for at least 24 hours. this is the all important curing process. after about 12 hrs you can pour some of the liquid out of the container. i did. 

after 24 hrs remove and wash remaining salt/sugar mixture off under cool water. dry completely. take a sharp sharp knife and cut slits through the skin but not to the flesh. i cut about every 1/2  inch or so.
if skin is removed just put some shallow slashes into the fat.


1 large white onion
2 gala or honey crisp apples...something sweet and crisp
brown sugar
bacon, if the belly has no skin
cut 1 large white onion into thick slices and layer the bottom of a roasting pan lined with heavy tin foil.  put pork belly on the onions...this is sort of a trivet to keep the pork off the bottom of the roasting pan.  if you want to use the bacon method then remove the skin, not the fat, from the pork belly...(some are only sold without the skin) and cover the top with the bacon strips as shown in photo.  place apple slices nice and snug around as shown in photos.  this  prevents the sides from getting too brown AND lets the apples cook in pork fatty goodness.  sprinkle brown sugar all around the sides on and around apples.

there are 2 ways to cook the belly...low and slow for the whole time...or Jamie Oliver's method.  i suggest if you are using the bacon on top you do the low and slow method so the bacon won't burn.
NOTE...i did not get a crisp crunchy skin with either method.  i was not concerned because i knew i would be refrigerating this and consuming the next day.  the skin should crisp in the pan or broiler later.  if it doesn't want to crisp up, just discard the skin and sear the fatty side before serving.

Jamie Oliver method ....put oven to "full whack" 450 F for the first thirty minutes and then down to 350 F for the next 2 hours...or until really fork tender.  this is a fabulous recipe that you might want to start with if you are unfamiliar with pork belly....straight up crispy skin roasted pork belly...delicious!

Low and slow...put in 225 F degree oven for 5-6 hours or until meat is very fork tender.  this depends on the size of your belly (the PORK belly, silly).  remove from oven and let cool as is. when cool enough, put it in the fridge for at least a few hours. this makes for easy slicing and preparing and way you see fit... and you can keep it there for the week as you whittle away at the slab.  slice against the grain and sear in a hot pan...or put a large slice in the oven to warm and then turn your broiler on to crisp the skin.

do with it what you will...
you can't go wrong with a delicious slab of apple brown sugar pork belly.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Roasted Bone Marrow with Tarragon Orange Gremolata and Pickled Shallots

unctuous bone marrow on crispy sauteed butter bread from 85c Bakery.

not for the meek, nor the pansy palettes allowed at this table.

i love bone marrow...every time i see some beautiful bones at the market i HAVE to get them.  
if you haven't had the pleasure, this is an easy introduction to a delicious savory...
primal indulgence. 
it's simply something you must try.  easy to prepare, makes a stunning presentation and a great conversation piece at your next dinner party.
 i have written about marrow in the past... Rendering Bone Marrow and Marrow with Walnut Pesto, but this time i had the idea that a nice citrus tarragon gremolata along with pickled shallots would be a good balance for the warm fatty marrow. 
i also had just bought wonderful Butter Bread from 85c Bakery.

what could be better...?

 i just discovered 85c here in Irvine.  if you haven't been to one, i highly suggest going for the experience.  there is always a crowd.  you pick up your tray and tongs, load up on all kinds of beautifully baked goodies and proceed to the zig zag line that works like a line at an amusement park.. the baked goods are warm and fresh coming out every few minutes marked by someone in uniform yelling out,"fresh bread!"'ll end up buying things unknown and way too many pastries, but it's all fun.  i have yet to try the Salted Coffee that is supposed to be outta this world AND one of their signature time.

adapted from Fergus Henderson

2 small shallots, sliced very thin 
juice of 1/2 small lemon
2 TB apple cider vinegar
pinch granulated sugar
salt and pepper

place shallots in a small bowl with lemon juice, cider vinegar, a large pinch of sugar, a small pinch of salt and enough water to barely cover.  allow to stand at least 1 hour.

more of an idea than an exact recipe...depending on how many you are serving

1/2 bunch (or less) parsley, chopped
tarragon...1/3 amount of parsley
zest from 1/2 bright colored orange
capers if you have them...i didn't have any at the time
small drizzle olive oil
juice from 1 orange wedge
salt and pepper

add oil and juice just before serving to stay fresh.


1 or 2 bones per person, depending on the size.
i usually find them about 2 - 2 1/2 inches long at a regular market.  
place bones in an oven-safe dish...standing on end.
roast at 450 F degrees for approximately 20 minutes...depending on size.  watch them...don't overcook or too much fat will render and the marrow will become slightly chewy.
sprinkle with flaked sea salt and crushed pepper.
must be served fairly quickly...they will harden the same as butter would if it gets cold, or even room temperature.serve with toasted baguette or delicious sliced and sauteed "butter bread" from 85 degrees

PS...if you are interested for more in depth information and visuals... i found this post by The Hungry Mouse VERY helpful for those "first-timers" unfamiliar with roasting bone marrow.... great pictures of "how-to" and what to expect when roasting.
many thanks to Jessie who has a wealth of information

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