Pork Belly Skewers

Here’s a recipe from Gourmet Magazine. I haven’t tried it yet but let me know if you do.

Yield: 60 skewers
Active Time: 45 mins
Total Time: 3 days (including brining & pressing)

For Brine

  • 4 teaspoons coriander seeds, toasted
  • 2 teaspoons fennel seeds, toasted
  • 1 gallon water
  • 1 1/3 cups kosher salt
  • 2/3 cup granulated sugar
  • 3 fresh red chiles, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon black peppercorns
  • 2 shallots, sliced
  • 3 garlic cloves, smashed
  • 3/4 duan salam (indonesian bay leaves)

 For Pork Belly

  • 3lbs pork belly, skin discarded
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 medium onion, cut into 6 wedges
  • 1 head garlic, left unpeeled and halved crosswise
  • 2 shallots, halved lengthwise
  • 2 cups chicken stock

For Chile Sauce

  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons asian fish sauce
  • 1 cup grated palm sugar
  • 1/2 cup plus 2 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 5 tablespoons rice vinegar
  • 6 tablespoons chopped cilantro stems
  • 7 fresh red chiles, chopped, including seeds
  • 12 garlic cloves, chopped

Equipment: 60 wooden skwers soaked in water for 1 hour


Brine Pork Belly

Bring brine ingredients to a boil in a 6 quart pot, then simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes. Cool brine to room temperature, then chill until cold, about 3 hours, and up to 3 days.

Cover pork belly with brine in a large heavy roasting pan, then chill 24 hours.

Remove pork belly from brine, discarding brine, and rinse under cold water. Pat pork belly dry. Wash and dry roasting pan.

Braise Pork Belly

Preheat oven to 225 degrees F with rack in middle.

Straddle roasting pan across 2 burners and heat oil over medium high heat until it shimmers, then cook onion, garlic, and shallots, stirring occasionally, until golden, about 5 minutes. Add stock and bring to a boil, scraping up brown bits. Add pork belly and remove from heat.

Cover roasting pan tightly with foil and braise in oven until pork belly is very tender, 3 1/2 to 4 1/2 hours.

Remove pork belly (reserve braising liquid for anothe ruse) and cool to room temperature.

Wrap tightly in several layers of plastic and chill, pressed between 2 baking sheets witha  weight (such as four 28 oz cans) on top, 12 to 24 hours.

Make Chile Sauce

Puree all sauce ingredients with 1 1/2 teaspoons salt ina  blender.

Skewer Pork Belly

Bring pork belly to room temperature, about 30 minutes. Cut lengthwise into 1 inch strips, then cut each strip crosswise into 1/3 inch wide pieces. Thread each piece ontoa  skewer and brush with some chile sauce.

Prepare Grill

If using a charcoal grill, open vents on bottom and light a large chimney starter full of charcoal then dump coals out across bottom rack, leaving a space free os coals on one side of the grill equal to sizer of pork belly, where it can be moved in case of flare ups. When charcoal turns grayish white, the grill will be at its hottest and then will begin to cool off. Grill is ready when you can hold your hand 5 inches above grill rack directly over coals for 3 to 4 seconds. If using a gas grill, preheat all burners on high for 10 minutes, then adjust heat to medium high.

Grill Pork Belly

Oil grill rack, then grill pork belly, turning occasionally and basting with chile sauce once more, until well browned on all sides, 3 to 4 minutes total. Brush with more chile sauce.

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