Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Pork Belly with Blackberry Sauce

This post should be titled "How to Make Thom Love Me Forever" since pork belly, whether smoked as bacon or slow roasted until it's practically butter, is definitely in his top ten all-time loves of his life. I am pretty sure I hold the number one spot but it never hurts to hedge your bets, even in a marriage. This pork belly is also a marriage - of two fabulous restaurant experiences.

Last summer for my birthday my Dad took Thom and me to Gaslight for dinner. It was a beautiful August evening and we sat outside on the patio enjoying fabulous wine, food, and conversation. Well, Dad and I enjoyed conversation. Thom was too enraptured with his succulent, golden, slow roasted pork belly to do much more than moan quietly to himself. I'm pretty sure I saw a single tear escape down the side of his face when the waiter took away the empty plate.

My scrape-the-plate-clean moment is fulfilled in the blackberry sauce. I'm one of those people who practically drinks vinegar. I love that sharp, sweet, mouth-watering tang. When I go out for tapas one of my favorite dishes is quail or duck with blackberry sauce. The blackberries are cooked down with raspberry vinegar and sugar resulting in a sweet and fruity sauce laced with the sharp tang of vinegar that just permeates the rich meat. If it worked that well with duck, I figured it would be amazing with pork.

And it was.


Pork Belly with Blackberry Sauce
1/2lb pork belly
1 cup blackberries
2/3 cup raspberry vinegar
1/3 cup sugar

quick brine
4 cups water
1/2 cup raspberry vinegar
2 tablespoons kosher salt
2 tablespoons sugar

Preheat oven to 225º F. Combine brine ingredients in a pot and bring to a boil. Score the skin side of the pork belly. Once brine is boiling drop in the pork belly and let cook 7 minutes. Remove, place in a roasting pan, cover with foil and roast 3 hours.

Yes, three hours.

Meanwhile cook the berries with the vinegar and sugar. Crush the berries with a spoon and cook until berries basically dissolve. Strain through a fine mesh strainer.

Once the pork is finished you can either turn the heat up to about 450º F to sear all sides, you can throw it on a grill, or you can sear the pork in a frying pan. Be careful because the fat will pop and splatter. In the last minute of cooking baste with the sauce, reserving most for the serving plate. Serve the pork belly immediately, covered in sauce. Get lots of kisses from husband.

Wayne's World style extreme pork belly close-up. WOAH!!!

Enjoy!

25 comments:

  1. I have never had pork belly but I want it. SO. bad!!!!

    I really am going to have to see if I can hunt some down because this. looks. DIVINE!!!

    Great job, Jess!

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    1. Hi Jen! Your local market should be able to get it if you ask the butcher. It's relatively inexpensive. (I say relatively since the price of meat has gone through the roof!)

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  2. Oh my word this looks fantastic!
    Aimee @ ShugarySweets

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  3. Oh my...now I'm hungry. I love pork belly and will have to try this one. Getting kisses from husband will be a bonus.

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  4. Gorgeous! I love the single tear ;) Beautiful recipe!

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    1. Oh, Thom is a character all right. He gives me "sad puppy dog" eyes when we run out of bacon. ;)

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  5. This makes a girl wanna eat pork :-) 3 Hours of love and care! This looks so good Jess!

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  6. That looks divine. If there is only one meat left on earth that I could choose from, I'd probably choose pork belly. So much you can do with it!

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    1. Thanks Susan! I really do love pork, too.

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  7. i am in love...with this dish! I could just taste it!

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  8. I love this use of berries!! And it's just perfect. I'm going to HAVE to make this next time I have pork!!

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    1. I want to try the sauce with grilled pork chops or loin, too!

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  9. Do you know that I have NEVER cooked or eaten pork belly?!! I know, right?!!

    This looks scrumptious!

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  10. Oh, gosh... LOVE. Bet the acidity in the fruit does wonders to cut the richness of the pork belly. Yum.

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  11. What a fabulous idea to combine the meat with sweet tart blackberries. I think everyone who tried this must love you forever!!

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  12. I need to try pork belly, my hubby would be pretty excited too:-) Gorgeous flavor combination! Hugs, Terra

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  13. I have to try cooking pork belly! Looks delicious!

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  14. My man would love this too! Great idea with the berries :)

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  15. Hi, Jess. You know I adore your site. Everything you make looks amazing. I'm stopping by to give you the versatile blogger award. Keep doing what you do.

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  16. Wow! Thanks so much Jennie - I really appreciate that and your kind comment. Have a great weekend!

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  17. I love the combo with the pork and blackberries and spinach, Yum! You can be so creative with salad!

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  18. Looks truly amazing - I'm a huge fan of pork belly and this is going to be one to try for sure. Thanks for sharing the recipe :)

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