Showing posts with label roasted. Show all posts
Showing posts with label roasted. 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

Monday, November 25, 2013

The "Accidental" Bird from INA GARTEN



this is positively THE BEST, moist and perfectly seasoned turkey i have ever tasted let alone cooked.
lucky for you i tested this early.

please accept my apology for the IPhone photo...i know it's awful.  i had no intention of posting, but i just had to let you know about this fabulous bird in hopes you might give it a try.

click on link for recipe and follow exact instructions

it takes 2-3 days

1-2 day dry brine in the fridge(2 days better)
uncover overnight to dry
and ONLY 1 hour and 45 minutes to cook (time for 12-13 pound bird)

NOTES... i used a Butterball "FRESH" turkey.  make sure you "muddle" the salt, rosemary and lemon zest for the dry brine.  it will adhere better.  i used a convection oven and adjusted temp. accordingly, lowering by 20 degrees.  i used a probe thermometer and removed the bird when it registered 174 F in the thigh.  make sure to let it rest for a good 25-30 minutes.

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Soy Sesame Ginger Marinated Pork Belly Roll - Roasted Crispy Skin

someone please stop me from buying a pork belly EVERY WEEK !


i love how versatile it is.  you can dress it up for a fancy dinner party or simply slice a piece off for quick sear.  you can go straight up crispy porkalicious...or...fresh herb roll, maybe a spicy Mexican belly?  how about a brown sugar apple onion crispy skin slab OR for this one i went with some Asian flavors and tried a simple overnight marinade.

i'm also in love with "THE ROASTED ROLL"
the crispy skin surrounds the whole roast and the inside is well flavored and super moist.  of course it's at it's prime just 20 minutes out of the oven, but left-overs are great.  after it's chilled the roll slices very easily for a good quick sear.  i can have an unctuous pork belly meal any time of day.  breakfast is delicious with a fried egg and maple syrup, lunch might be a few lettuce wraps and dinner?...well...i don't eat dinner after all that belly during the day, but i'm sure a slab with some mash or polenta would work well for anybody. 

the roll is also a great way to disguise a flawed, or not so great looking, slab of pork belly...
this one came out quite good considering the piece i started with.
my pork belly was sadly misshapen.  i was not a happy camper when i unwrapped the belly at 10pm.  i had intended this to be a big beautiful slab of pork belly for all to admire.  instead i got one with a big chunk taken out of the skin, meat falling apart and... 


this boob or "extra bit" has happened to me before with Jamie Oliver's Crispy Pork Belly with extra BITS post.  you might notice the boob is at the very bottom-end of the belly.  maybe the big chunk taken out was another boob?

you might not use it all depending on your cooking method.  i should have reserved some for a nice sauce.

1/3 cup soy sauce
1/3 cup Shaoxing wine
1 1/2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp brown sugar, packed
1 tsp fresh ginger, pressed through garlic press
a few slices of fresh ginger
1 clove garlic sliced thin
2 scallions, sliced (about 3 Tbsp.)

this was a 2.15 pound boneless pork belly
rinse and dry your pork belly.  
poke holes in the skin with sharp skewer and score the belly(as shown) with a sharp knife OR BOX CUTTER
(i did not do a uniform job on this one because this belly was very unruly)
preheat the oven to 320F, NON-convection.
cover roasting pan with aluminum foil for easy clean up.
slice 2 onions, thick, and lay them under a roasting rack, as shown.
pour just a little stock or wine over the onions so there will be a little moisture going in the oven.
place roast on rack and LOOSELY tent the roast.
put in oven and check every hour.  check to see that there is still a little liquid in the roasting pan...add a touch more whenever needed.  depending on the size it should be fork tender in about 3 1/2 to 4 hours.
remove tent and crank the oven up to 380F convection.  i had the top element turned on as well.  you could go straight broiler element at 400F if you do not have convection..  watch carefully until the skin starts to puff and is good and crispy, but not burnt.  you may want to rotate the roast to get even crisp.
remove from oven and let rest for 20 minutes.
use a very very sharp knife to slice.  the crispy skin is a bit difficult, but that's part of the charm.  the chef gets the crisp bits that fall off.


 find a vessel that the belly will fit snug in.  put marinade in, but don't let it come up to the skin...just the meat should be marinated.  put this in the fridge, uncovered so the skin will be as dry as possible.  marinade overnight.
remove from marinade, being careful not to get the skin wet...if possible.  if skin side down on some paper towels, add your extras, roll and tie it up.  get'll need an extra set of hands. after thought...i would put some of the solids from the marinade inside the roll.  ie. the scallion, ginger, garlic and some brown sugar and a drizzle of sesame oil.  this would bump up the flavor a bit more than mine.
 i decided to roll this piece.  it was so misshapen and kind of falling apart.  as you can see i practically put the thing in bondage to hold it together.  once it was cooked and had taken shape, i removed some of the strings to crisp the skin...not the 3 holding the roll together.
in the oven partially tented so as not to brown the skin too quickly.

i watched the skin carefully.  when the top and sides were popping and crispy i turned it over to get the underside a bit crisp.  this is not necessary, but i was experimenting to get the entire skin crispy.  it worked...with a watchful eye and tender loving care.

stay tuned for the next one.
i think i might go spicy Mexican flavors

Monday, April 22, 2013

Rolled and Roasted Pork Belly with Fresh Herbs


seasoned, rolled and slow roasted.

unctuous crispy porky goodness.

super easy, no fail pork belly roll.  i've done it twice...once with the savory aromatics and once with brown sugar and chipotle.  each belly requires a little different cooking method and time due to the size and shape of the meat.  this one was done half way in the dutch oven, then moved to a roasting rack.  i suppose the total cooking could be done on the rack, but i wanted to maintain as much moisture as possible and i didn't want the outside to get burnt...this was a very small belly.
this double cooking method produced a moist unctuous pork belly with crispy skin right out of the oven.  it's also delicious served sliced and seared to top off the ultimate burger or layered in a nice hot-off-the-grill panini....oh, maybe a fried egg on top for breakfast?
  anyway you serve it you can't go wrong when pork belly is involved.
don't forget to serve with those delicious rosemary wine pork fat  caramelized onions.

first poke holes all over with metal skewer.  then score skin with a box cutter, as shown.
mise en place your add-ins to make things easier and lower cross contamination. 
 evenly distribute salt, pepper, herbs and thin onion.  then roll and tie.  you might want an extra pair of hands to help get a nice tight roll.  as you can see i did use one tie to hold in the ends.
thick onion as a base with shallow wine and chicken stock...covered for the first hour, uncovered 2nd hour. 
move to roasting rack for another hour or until fork tender, at 325F convection...then crank the oven to 430F and keep a watchful eye 'til skin is crispy.  

with fresh herbs

2 lbs, pork belly with skin
(choose a meaty-flatter piece if possible)
1 Tbsp fresh rosemary, minced
1 Tbsp fresh thyme, minced
3-4 Tbsp fresh Italian parsley, minced
about 1/4 onion very thin sliced
1 tsp kosher salt for the inside.
fresh ground pepper
more salt for the outside.

FOR THE DUTCH OVEN if using for the first hour.
2 small white onions, sliced thick
6-8 cloves garlic
a few sprigs rosemary
1/3 cup white wine.
approx. 1/4 cup chicken broth
note...liquids according to size dutch oven.  liquid should not touch the pork roast.  approx. 1/2 inch will do.
preheat oven to 320F
wash the belly and make sure there are no lingering stray hairs.  dry it well.  poke holes in the skin all over with a sharp skewer, as shown.  score the skin with a box cutter, as shown.  with skin side down, dress the meat side with salt and pepper.  mine took about 1 tsp salt...i had a rather small piece.  sprinkle herbs and lay out some thin slices of onion, as shown.  get your string cut and ready.  roll the belly.  it's easier if you have a friend help with this to get it tight. if it doesn't work well one way, go a head and try the other end first.  stuff will fall out, but don't worry.  i used three strings going around and one string holding the ends in.  pork belly can protrude in strange directions and i wanted a nice tight roast.  
dry the outside with a paper towel and sprinkle with salt.

this step might not be necessary, but i started in a dutch oven....
i think it helped cook the roast for a while in a nice moist environment.  and it made some delicious rosemary wine onions that were later caramelized when roasting.
put the thick slices of onion and the garlic cloves in the bottom of a dutch oven with a few rosemary sprigs.  lay the roast on top.  add the wine and enough chicken stock to just cover the onions, not touching the pork belly (example photo).
put in the oven covered for 1 hour.  then uncovered for the next hour.
now take the roast out and put it on a rack.  or an aluminum covered tray with the onions underneath (example photo).  i turned the convection on.  roast for 1 more hour.  poke it and see if it is really fork tender.  fork tender all the way through.  you be the judge.  it is very hard to over cook a pork belly.  when fork tender turn the oven up to 430F convection and watch until the skin gets crisp, but not burnt.
take it out and let it rest for about 20 minutes
remove strings and slice with a very sharp knife.

OR...for a delicious warm thick slice on a big burger or sandwich...
cool completely before storing.  i like to wrap in parchment inside a tupperware and lay the cover on...not snapped shut.  the cut roast photos were taken the next day and the skin was still crispy.
i like to rewarm in a medium heat skillet with a touch of butter on both sides.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

Pig Cheeks wrapped with Bacon, Brown sugar and Onion


there's a new kid in town.


not that this is any new big discovery, but i have just recently fallen in love.  i simply can not explain how unctuous this small little nugget of pig meat is.  i've had beef cheeks before and they are absolutely fabulous in this recipe for Beef Cheek Barbacoa, but they are a bear with all the sinew and fatty bits that need trimming.  the pig cheeks, on the other hand, are small, thin, clean and easy to work with...i buy mine at one of my favorite Asian markets in Irvine, H Mart.

PIG CHEEK wrapped in BACON ?


the perfect HOG HEAVEN FOR TWO.
but...will serve four generously.

this is what my cheeks looked like.  there was a good layer of fat on the other side of the larger one.  this was almost 1 pound.

please read through...some of it is visual
everything is approx. because you never know what size cheeks you're going to find, but this is what you'll need....
pig cheeks....3/4 to 1 pound
1/4 white onion, very thin slices
2-3 Tbsp brown sugar
1 tsp kosher salt
fresh ground pepper
a few dashes of cumin pepper flakes or cayenne or chili powder or Mrs Dash South Western Chipotle
9-11 slices long the longest, not the center cut
butchers string

preheat oven to 325F.

lay the bacon out as shown.  the bacon strips that will be wrapping around the outside should be on the board first.  the strips that will cover the ends go across.  in my case i had 2 pieces so i dressed the first one (photo above) and laid the 2nd on top (not shown) with a few extra sprinkles of salt, brown sugar and spices.
roll the meat first.  then wrap the bacon that will cover the ends.  next wrap the outer layer.  you might need to cut a little bacon off so as not to over lap too much.
pre-cut your strings so you are not fumbling for the scissors...tie the string around the ends first.  i used two.  then 3 to four strings around the body holding the bacon on.  this is not as difficult as you may think, but an extra hand in the kitchen helps hold things together.

1 to 1 1/2 green apple, cored and sliced thick
1 to 1 1/2 white onion, sliced thick
enough chicken stock to just cover the onions.
brown sugar to sprinkle on top.
place thick slices of onion and apple on the bottom to act as a trivet or rack and place the roast on top as shown.

the roast in photo was in the oven for approx. 3 1/2 hours total.
roast for 2 hours with the lid on.  check on the roast.  check the liquid.  you don't want the roast sitting in liquid.  roast for another hour.  peek after 30 minutes and give it a poke.  is it fork tender? it starting to brown?  if it is fork tender, but not brown, remove the lid, turn up the oven to 350F and watch it so you don't burn the bacon.
mine fully cooked and browned (as shown) in the covered dutch oven about  3 1/2 hours.
remove the roast and carefully remove the onion ringlets with a slotted spoon.  these are delicious pork fat caramelized onions.  if the onions are not browned enough, put the dutch oven uncovered back in the big oven without the roast and cook to your satisfaction...don't forget them in the oven while you are noshing away at the pork roast.

for about 20 minutes

slice and serve...
refrigerate left over...if there is any...but wrap in parchment.  the bacon should still be a bit crispy the next day.  reheat a nice thick slice on a medium heat skillet, lightly searing both sides.

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