Saturday, May 23, 2009
I Made Giant Bacon...Sort Of. (Roasted Brined Pork Belly)
I had a sort of odd bit of pork belly left over from one of my experiments and I was perplexed as to what to do with it. I had seen some recipes care of Fergus Henderson floating around concerning brined bellies and I decided to give it a whirl on a small scale.
I simply submerged the pound or two of belly in about 2 quarts of water with a cup of sugar, a cup of salt, and a few peppercorns. The Henderson recipe calls for a few more spices but I omitted them. The pork stays in the brine, refrigerated, for 3 days. After this time I simply roasted it on a rack at 375 for about one and a half hours.
I was pretty impressed with the results. The pig skin was delightfully crispy, the meat was flavorful, and the fat was meltingly tender. Biting into a hunk of this is a singular experience, the crisp exterior gives way to an unctuous and rich rush of fattiness. Delicious. What you have here is essentially giant bacon pieces, so wrap your mind around how good that sounds. I will probably be refining this method and trying it again some time.