Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Pork Belly Confit

Simple Confit Pork Belly
Yield: 2 lbs
Prep time: one day
Cook time: three hours

2 bay leaf, crushed
1 tsp chopped thyme
1 tsp chopped rosemary
1 tsp ground black pepper
1 Tbsp sugar
1/4 cup kosher salt
3 lb piece pork belly
1 small onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves
4 sprigs thyme
1 sprig rosemary
Olive or Canola oil

1.In a bowl mix the first six ingredients until combined. In a shallow baking dish rub the salt and herb mix on all sides of the pork belly until well coated. Cover the dish with plastic and refrigerate over night.
2. Once the pork has had its overnight cure, wash it well with cold water to remove the salt and herbs, and pat dry with paper towels.
3.Preheat your oven to 375 degrees F. In a large pot such as a cast iron dutch oven, place the onions, garlic, and herbs. On top of the vegetables lay the dry pork belly and pour in enough oil to cover it by one inch. Cover the pork with either a lid or aluminum foil and roast for two to three hours or until fork tender.
4. Once the pork is cooked, remove it from the oil to cool. Strain the oil into a bowl and discard the solids. Let the oil separate from the juices released from the pork and then save the oil.

Chef's Notes
At this stage the pork can be used in many different applications It can be sliced and pan seared to be served on asian steam buns with cilantro, radish, and sesame sauce. It is a feature component of the classic french white bean cassoulet.  You can cut it into square portions of any size, score the skin and render a beautifully crisp piece of belly on top of braised greens or with a fruit sauce. Or it can be diced into half inch cubes and fried to create pork croutons that will elevate any salad.

If you are not immediately using the pork, place it in shallow container and completely cover with the confit oil. This will keep the pork for up to one month.

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